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^h ^l^^. v^^ 



















FEBRUARY 24, 1933 

Copyright, 1879, 








Dragon and Devil distinguished — Dragons' wings — ^War in Heaven — 
Expulsion of Serpents — Dissolution of the Dragon — ^Theological 
origin of the Devil — Ideal and Actual — Devil Dogma — Debase- 
ment of ideal persons — ^Transmigration of phantoms . . i 



Respect for the Devil— Primitive Atheism — Idealisation — Birth of new 
gods — New gods diabolised — Compromise between new gods and 
old — Foreign deities degraded — Their utilisation . * , 13 



Mr. Irving's impersonation of Superstition — Revolution against pious 
privilege — Doctrine of * Merits * — Saintly immorality in India — 
A Pantheon turned Infemo^Zendavesta on Good and Evil — 
Parst Mythology — ^The Combat of Ahriman with Ormuzd — Opti- 
mism — Pars! Eschatology — Final Restoration of Ahriman . 20 

Chapter iv. 

viswAmitra, the theocratic devil. 

Priestcraft and Pessimism — An Aryan Tetzel and his Luther — Brah- 
man Frogs — Evolution of the Sacerdotal Saint — ^Viswimitra the 
Accuser of Virtue — The Tamil Passion- Play ' Harischandra ' — 
Ordeal of Goblins — The Martyr of Truth — Virtue triumphant over 
ceremonial ' Merits ' — Harischandra and Job . -31 





Deified power — Giants and Jehovah— Jehovah's manifesto— The various 
Elohim — Two Jehovahs and two Tables — Contradictions— Detach- 
ment of the Elohim from Jehovah ..... 46 



The Shekinah— Jewish idols — Attributes of the fieiy and cruel Elohim 
compared with those of the Devil — The powers of evil combined 
under a head— Continuity — ^The consuming fire spiritualised . 54 



Herakles and Athena In a holy picture — Human significance of Eden 
— The legend in Genesis puzzling— Silence of later books con- 
cerning it — Its Vedic elements — Its explanation — Episode of the 
Mahibhdrata — Scandinavian variant — The name of Adam — ^The 
story re-read — Rabbinical interpretations . .63 



I1ie Fall of Man— Fall of gods — Giants— Prajipati and Rihu— Woman 
and Star-Serpent in Persia — Meschia and Meschiane — Brahman 
legends of the creation of Man — ^The strength of Woman — Elohist 
and Jehovist creations of Man — The Forbidden Fruit — Eve re- 
appears as Sara — Abraham surrenders his wife to Jehovah — The 
idea not sensual — Abraham's circumcision — The evil name of 
Woman — Noah's wife — The temptation of Abraham — Rabbinical 
legends concerning Eve — Pandora — Sentiment of the Myth of Eve 73 



Madonnas — Adam's first wife — Her flight and doom — Creation of 
Devils — Lilith marries Samael — Tree of Life — Lilith's part in 
the Temptation — Her locks — Lamia — Bodeima — Meschia and 
Meschiane — Amazons — ^Maternity — Rib- theory of Woman— Kali 
and Durga— Captivity of Woman . . . •91 





The ' Other '— Tiamat, Bohu, ' the Deep '— Ra and Apophis— Hathors 
—Bel's combat— Revolt in Heaven— Lilith— Myth of the Devil at 
the creation of Light ...... 105 



The Abode of Devils— Ketef— Disorder— Talmudic legends— The 
restless Spirit— The Fall of Lucifer— Asteria, Hecate, Lilith— 
The Dragon's triumph — A Gipsy legend — Csedmon's Poem of the 
Rebellious Angels— Milton's version — The Puritans and Prince 
Rupert— Bel as ally of the Dragon— A * Mystery* in Marionettes 
—European Hells . . . . . . • 115 



Hebrew God of War— Samael— The Other's blessing and curse — Esau 
— Edom — Jacob and the Phantom — ^The planet Mars — Tradesman 
and Huntsman — ' The Devil's Dream ' .... 130 



Jacob, the ' Impostor '—The Barterer— Esau, the * Warrior '—Bar- 
barian Dukes — ^Trade and War — Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau 
— Their Ghosts — Legend of Iblis — Pagan Warriors of Europe— 
Russian Hierarchy of Hell . . . . .138 



Hebrew Polytheism— Problem of Evil— Job's disbelief in a future life 
— ^The Divider's realm — Salted sacrifices — ^Theory of Orthodoxy 
— Job's reasoning — His humour — Impartiality of Fortune between 
the evil and good — ^Agnosticism of Job— Elihu's Eclecticism — 
Jehovah of the Whirlwind — Heresies of Job— Rabbinical legend 
of Job— Universality of the legend . .... 147 





Public Prosecators— Satan as Accoser — English Devil- Worshipper — 
Conversion by Terror^Satan in the Old Testament— The trial 
of Joshua — Sender of Plagues — Satan and Serpent — Portrait of 
Satan— Scap^oat of Christendom— Catholic 'Si^t of Hell'— 
The ally of Priesthoods . . . • I59 



Pharaoh and Herod — 2^roaster*s mother — ^Ahriman's emissaries — 
Kansa and Krishna — Emissaries of Kansa — Astyages and Cyrus 
— Zohdk — Bel and the Christian . . • 172 



Temptations — Birth of Buddha — Mara — Temptation of Power — 
Asceticism and Luxury — Mara's menaces — Appearance of the 
Buddha's Vindicator — Ahriman tempts Zoroaster — Satan and 
Christ — Criticism of Strauss — Jewish traditions — Hunger — 
Variants ........ 178 



A 'Morality' at Tours— The 'St. Anthony' of Spagnoletto— Bunyan's 
Pilgrim — Milton on Christ's Temptation — An Edinburgh saint 
and Unitarian fiend — A haunted Jewess — Conversion by fever — 
Limit of courage — Woman and sorcery — Luther and the Devil— 
The ink-spot at Wartburg — Carlyle*s interpretation — The cowled 
Devil— Carlyle*s trial— In Rue St Thomas d'Enfer- The Everlast- 
ing No — Devil of Vauvert — The latter-day conflict — New condi- 
tions—The Victory of Man— The Scholar and the World . 190 



Hindu myth — Gnostic theories — Ophite scheme of redemption — Rab- 
binical traditions of Primitive Man — Pauline Pessimism — Law of 
death — Satan's ownership of Man — Redemption of the Electa 
Contemporary statements — Baptism — Exorcism — The ' new 


man's' food — Eucharist — Herbert Spencer's explanation — Prinu- 
tive ideas — ^Legends of Adam and Seth — Adamites — A Mormon 
' Mystery ' of initiation • • . • . . . 206 



A HanoYer relic — Mr. Atkinson on the Dove — The Dove in the Old 
Testament — Ecclesiastical symbol — Judicial s3rmbol — A vision of 
St. Dunstan's — The witness of chastity — Dove and Serpent — ^The 
unpardonable sin — Inexpiable sin among the Jews — Destructive 
power of Jehovah — Potency of the breath — ^Third persons of 
Trinities — Pentecost — Christian superstitions — Mr. Moody on the 
sin against the Holy Ghost — Mysterious fear — Idols of the cave . 226 



The Kali Age — Satan sifting Simon— Satan as Angel of Light — 
Epithets of Antichrist — The Caesars — Nero — Sacraments imitated 
by Pagans — Satanic signs and wonders — Jerome on Antichrist — 
Armillus — ^Al Dajjail — Luther on Mohammed — * Mawmet ' — 
Satan 'God's ape' — Mediaeval notions — Witches' Sabbath — ^An 
Infernal Trinity — Serpent of Sins — Antichrist Popes — Luther as 
Antichrist — Modern notions of Antichrist . . • . 240 



The curse of Iblis — Samael as Democrat — His vindication by Christ 
and Paul— Asmodaus — Histoiy of the name — Aschmedai of the 
Jews — Book of Tobit — Dora's 'Triumph of Christianity' — 
Aucassin and Nicolette — Asmodeus in the convent — The Asmo- 
deus of Le Sage — Mephistopheles — Blake's ' Marriage of Heaven 
and Heir—The Devil and the artists— Sadi's Vision of Satan- 
Arts of the Devil — Suspicion of beauty — Earthly and heavenly 
mansions — Deacon versus Devil ..... 260 



A Bishop on intellect — The Bible on learning — ^The Serpent and Seth 
— A Hebrew Renaissance — Spells— Shelley at Oxford — Book- 
burning — Japanese ink-devil — Book of Cyprianus — Devil's Bible 
— Red Letters — Dread of Science — Roger Bacon — Luther's Devil 
— Lutherans and Science ..... . 277 





Minor gods — Saint and Satyr — Tutelaries — Spells — Early Christianity 
and the poor — Its doctrine as to pagan deities — Mediaeval Devils 
— Devils on the stage — An Abbot's revelations — The fairer deities 
— Oriental dreams and spirits — Calls for Nemesis — Lilith and her 
children — Neoplatonicism — ^AstroIogy and Alchemy — Devil's Col- 
lege — Shem-hammphorAsch — ApoUonius of Tyana — Faustus — 
Black Art Schools — Compacts with the Devil — Blood covenant — 
Spirit-seances in old times — The Fairfax delusion — Origin of its 
devil — Witch, goat, and cat— Confessions of Witches — Witchcraft 
in New England — Witch trials — Salem demonology — Testing 
witches — Witch trials in Sweden — Witch Sabbath — ^Mythological 
elements — Carriers — Scotch Witches — The cauldron — Vervain — 
Rue — Invocation of Hecate — Factors of Witch persecution — 
Three centuries of massacre — Wiirzburg horrors — Last victims — 
Modem Spiritualism •...«• 288 



Mephisto and Mephitis — The Raven Book — Papal sorceiy — Magic 
seals — Mephistopheles as dog — George Sabellicus alias Faustus — 
The Faust myth— Mariowe's ' Faust '—Good and evil angels—* El 
Magico Prodigioso' — Cyprian and Justina — Klinger*s 'Faust' — 
Satan's sermon — Goethe's Mephistopheles — His German charac- 
ters — Moral scepticism — Devil's gifts — Helena — Redemption 
through Art — Defeat of Mephistopheles • • • . 332 



The Wild Hunt — Euphemisms — Schimmelreiter — Odinwald — Pied 
Piper— Lyeshy — Waldemar's Hunt — Paine Hunter— King Abel's 
Hunt — Lords of Glorup— Le Grand Veneur — Robert le Diable — 
Arthur — Hugo — Heme— Tregeagle — Der Freischiltz — Elijah's 
chariot — Mahan Bali — Dehak — Nimrod — Nimrod's defiance of 
Jehovah — His Tower — Robber Knights — The Devil in Leipzig — 
Olaf hunting pagans — Hunting-horns — Raven — Boar — Hounds — 
Horse — Dapplegrimm — Sleipnir — Horse-flesh — The mare Chetiya 
—Stags— St. Hubert— The White Lady— Myths of Mother Rose 
Wodan hunting St. Walpurga— Friar Eckhardt . • • 353 





The Devfl repainted — Satan a divine agent — St. Grain's heresy — 
Primitive nniversalism — ^Father Sinistrari — Salvation of demons— ^ 
Mediaeval sects — Aquinas — His prayer for Satan — Popular antipa- 
thies — The Devil's gratitude — Devil defending innocence — Devil • 
against idle lords — The wicked ale-wife— Pious offenders punished 
— Anachronistic Devils^Devils turn to poems — Devil*s good 
advice — Devil sticks to his word — His love of justice — Charle- 
magne and the Serpent — Merlin — His prison of Air — Mephisto- 
pheles in Heaven . ...••« 3S1 



Celsns on Satan — Ferocities of inward nature — The DevQ of Lust — 
Celibacy — Blue Beards — Shudendozi — ^A lady in distress — Bahi- 
rawa — ^The Black Prince — Madana Yaksenyo— Fair fascinators — 
Devil of Jealousy — Eve's jealousy — Noah's wife — How Satan 
entered the Ark— Shipwright's Dirge— The Second Fall— The 
Drunken curse — Solomon's Fall — Cellar Devils — Gluttony — ^The 
Vatican haunted — Avarice — Animalised Devils — Man-shaped 
Animals .«...••. 401 






1. Lillth and Eve . • . . 

2. Temptation and Expulsion of Adam and Eve 

3. Satan Punished 

4. Hierarchy of Hell . 

5. Gnostic Figure of Satan 

6. Temptation of Christ 

7. Adam Signing Contract for his Posterity to Satan 

8. Seth Offering a Branch to Adam 

9. Procession of the Serpent of Sins 

10. Ancient Russian Wall- Painting 

11. Alexander VI. as Antichrist 
13. The Pope nursed by Megsera 

13. Antichrist's Descent 

14. Luther's Devil as seen by Catholics 

15. The Pride of Life . 

16. The Artist's Rescue . 

17. Luther's Devil . • 

18. Devils from Old Missal 

19. Carving at Corbeil . 
2a Lilith as Cat 

21. A Witch from Lyons Cathedral 

22. Seal from Raven Book 

23. The Wicked Ale-Wife 

24. A Mediaeval Death- Bed 

25. From Hogarth's * Raree Show * 

26. A Soul's Doom 

27. Cruelty and Lust 

28. Jealousy 

29. Satan and Noraita . 
3a Monkish Gluttony . 

31. Devil of Danegeld Treasure 

32. St James and Devils 

33. Devil from Notre Dame, Paris 






















Dragon and Devil distinguished — Dragons* wings — War in Heaven — 
Expulsion of Serpents — Dissolution of the Dragon— Theological 
origin of the Devil — Ideal and actual — Devil Dogma — Debase- 
ment of ideal persons — Transmigration of phantoms. 

* We are all nothing other than Wills/ says St. Augustine ; 
and he adds that of the good and bad angels the nature is 
the same, the will diflferent. In harmony with this John 
Beaumont says, ' A good desire of mind is a good God." ^ 
To which all the mythology of Evil adds, a bad desire of 
mind is a Devil. Every personification of an evil Will 
looks beyond the outward phenomena of pain, and con- 
ceives a heart that loves evil, a spirit that makes for 
wickedness. At this point a new element altogether 
enters. The physical pain incidentally represented by the 
Demon, generalised and 'organised into a principle of 
harmfulness in the Dragon, begins now to pass under the 
shadow cast by the ascending light of man's moral nature. 
Man becomes conscious of moral and spiritual pains : 
they may be still imaginatively connected with bodily 

^ ' Treatise of Spirits.' By John Beaumont, Gent. London, 1705. 


agonies, but these drop out of the immediate conception, 
disappear into a distant future, and are even replaced by 
the notion of an evil symbolised by pleasure. 

The fundamental difference between either a Demon or 
Dragon and a Devil may be recognised in this : we never 
find the former voluntarily bestowing physical pleasure or 
happiness on man, whereas it is a chi ef par t of the^ notion 
of a Devil that he oflen confers earthly favours iniurder to 
Qorrupt^he jnorat iHktuMf - 

There are, indeed, apparent exceptions to this theorem 
presented in the agatho-dragons which have already been 
considered in our chapter on the Basilisk ; but the reader 
will observe that there is no intimation in such myths of 
any malign ulterior purpose in the good omens brought by 
those exceptional monsters, and that they are really forms 
of malevolent power whose afflictive intent is supposed to 
have been vanquished by the superior might of the heroes 
or saints to whose glory they are reluctantly compelled 
to become tributary. 

Undoubtedly the Dragon attended this moral and re- 
ligious development of man's inward nature very far, and 
still occupies, as at once prisoner and gaoler in the under- 
world, a subordinate relation to it In the long process 
he has undergone certain transformations, and in particular 
his attribute of wings, if not derived from the notion of his 
struggle against holier beings, seems to have been largely 
enhanced thereby. The exceptional wings given to ser- 
pents in Greek art, those, for instance, which draw Demeter 
and Persephone in their chariot, are trifling as compared 
with the fully-developed wings of our conventional Dragon 
of the christian era. Such wings might have been de- 
veloped occasionally to denote the flying cloud, the fire- 
breathing storm, or explain how some Rdhu was enabled 
to pursue the sun and moon and swallow them temporarily 


in the phenomena of eclipse. But these wings grew to 
more important dimensions when they were caught up into 
the Semitic conception of winged genii and destroying 
angels, and associated ambitious assault on heaven- 
and its divine or angelic occupants. 

'There was war in Heaven/ says the Apocalypse. The 
traditional descriptions of this war follow pretty closely, 
in dramatic details, other and more ancient struggles 
which reflect man's encounters with the hardships of 
nature. In those encounters man imagined the gods 
descending earthward to mingle in the fray; but even 
where the struggle mounted highest the scenery is mainly 
terrestrial and the issues those of place and power, the 
dominion of visible Light established above Darkness, or 
of a comparatively civilised over a savage race. The wars 
between the Devas and Asuras in India, the Devs and 
Ahuras in Persia, Buddha and the Nagas in Ceylon, 
Gariira and the Serpent-men in the north of India, gods 
and Frost-giants in Scandinavia, still concern man's re- 
lation to the fruits of the earth, to heat and frost, to dark- 
ness or storm and sunshine. 

But some of these at length find versions which reveal 
their tendency towards spiritualisation. The differences 
presented by one of these legends which has survived 
among us in nearly its ancient form from the same 
which remains in a partly mystical form will illustrate the 
transitional phase. Thus, Gan!ira expelling the serpents 
from his realni in India is not a saintly legend ; this exter- 
minator of serpents is said to have compelled the reptile 
race to send him one of their number daily that he might 
eat it, and the rationalised tradition interprets this as the 
prince's cannibalism. The expulsion of Nagas or serpents 
from Ceylon by Buddha, in order that he might consecrate 
that island to the holy law, marks the pious accentuation 


of the fable. The expulsion of snakes from Ireland by 
St. Patrick is a legend conceived in the spirit of the curse 
pronounced upon the serpent in Eden, but in this case the 
modern myth is the more primitive morally, and more 
nearly represents the exploit of Garura. St. Patrick ex- 
pels the snakes that he may make Ireland a paradise 
physically, and establish his reputation as an apostle by 
fulfilling the signs of one named by Christ ; ^ and in this 
particular it slightly rises above the Hindu story. In the 
case of the serpent cursed in Eden a further moralisation 
of the conflict is shown. The serpent is not present in 
Eden, as in the realms of Garura and St. Patrick, for pur- 
poses of physical devastation or pain, but to bestow a 
pleasure on man with a view to success in a further issue 
between himself and the deity. Yet in this Eden myth 
the ancient combat is not yet fairly spiritualised ; for the 
issue still relates, as in that between the Devas and 
Asuras, to the possession of a magical fruit which by no 
means confers sanctity. In the apocalyptic legend of the 
war in heaven,* the legend has become fairly spiritualised. 
The issue is no longer terrestrial, it is no longer for mere 
power ; the Dragon is arrayed against the woman and 
child, and against the spiritual 'salvation' of mankind, 
of whom he is * accuser ' and * deceiver.' 

Surely nobody could be ' deceived ' by * a great fiery- 
red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns ' I In this 
vision the Dragon is pressed as far as the form can go in 
the symbolisation of evil. To devour the child is its 
legitimate work, but as 'accuser of the brethren before 
God day and night ' the monstrous shape were surely out 
of place by any mythologic analogy; and one could 
hardly imagine such a physiognomy capable of deceiving 

* Luke X. 19. fl R^^^ ^..^ 


* the whole world.* It is not wonderful, therefore, that the 
Dragon's presence in heaven is only mentioned in connec- 
tion with his fall from it. It is significant that the wings 
are lost in this fall ; for while his * angelic ' relationship sug- 
gests the previous wings, the woman is able to escape the 
fallen monster by the two wings given her.^ Wingless now, 
' the old serpent ' once more, the monster's shape has no 
adaptation to the moral and religious struggle which is 
to ensue. For his shape is a method, and it means the 
perfection of brute force. That, indeed, also remains in 
the sequel of this magnificent myth. As in the legend of 
the Hydra two heads spring up in place of that which 
falls, so in this christian legend out of the overthrown 
monster, henceforth himself concealed, two arise from his 
inspiration, — the seven-headed, ten-horned Beast who con- 
tinues the work of wrath and pain ; but also a lamb-like 
Beast, with only two horns (far less terrible), and able to 
deceive by his miracles, for he is even able to call down 
fire from heaven. The ancient Serpent-dragon, the ex- 
pression of natural pain, thus goes to pieces. His older 
part remains to work mischief and hurt ; and the cry is 
uttered, *Be merry, ye heavens, and ye that tabernacle 
in them : woe to the earth and the sea I for the devil is 
come down unto you, having great wrath because he 
knows that he has a short time.'^ But there is a lamb- 
like part of him too, and his relation to the Dragon is only 
known by his voice. 

This subtle adaptation of the symbol of external pain 
to the representation of the moral struggle, wherein the 
hostile power may assume deceptive forms of beauty and 
pleasure, is only one impressive illustration of the transfer 
of human conceptions of evil from outward to inward 

^ Rev. xii cfl verses 4, 9 and 14. * Rev. xU. 12. 


nature. The transition is from a malevolent, fatal, prin- 
ciple of harmfulness to the body to a malevolent, fatal, 
principle of evil to the conscience. The Demon was 
natural ; the Dragon was both physical and metaphysical ; 
the Devil was and is theological. In the primitive Zoroas- 
trian theology, where the Devil first appears in clear defi- 
nition, he is the opponent of the Good Mind, and the 
combat between the two, Ormuzd and Ahriman, is the 
spiritualisation of the combat between Light and Dark- 
ness, Pain and Happiness, in the external world. As these 
visible antagonists were supposed to be exactly balanced 
against each other, so are their spiritual correlatives. The 
Two Minds are described as Twins. 

' Those old Spirits, who are twins, made known what is 
good and what is evil in thoughts, words, and deeds. 
Those who are good distinguished between the two ; not 
so those who are evil-doers. 

* When these two Spirits came together they made first 
life and death, so that there should be at last the most 
wretched life for the bad, but for the good blessedness. 

• Of these two Spirits the evil one chose the worst deeds ; 
the kind Spirit, he whose garment is the immovable sky, 
chose what is right.' ^ 

This metaphysical theory follows closely the primitive 
scientific observations on which it is based ; it is the cold 
of the cold, the gloom of the darkness, the sting of 
death, translated into some order for the intellect which 
having passed through the Dragon, we find appearing 
in this Persian Devil; and against his blackness tlie 
glory of the personality from whom all good things pro- 
ceed shines out in a splendour no longer marred by 
association with the evil side of nature. Ormuzd is cele- 

1 ' Zcndavestm' Yasna xxx. ; Max MUller, ' Science of Religion,' p. 238. 


brated as * father of the pure world/ who sustains ' the 
earth and the clouds that they do not fall/ and ' has made 
the kindly light and the darkness, the kindly sleep and 
the awaking;'^ at every step being suggested the father 
of the impure world, the unkindly light, darkness or sleep. 

The ecstasy which attended man's first vision of an 
ideal life defied the contradictory facts of outward and 
inward nature. So soon as he had beheld a purer image 
of himself rising above his own animalism, he must not 
only regard that animalism aa au instigation of a devil, but 
also the like of it in nature ; and this conception will pro- 
ceed pari passu with the creation of pure deities in the 
image of that higher self. There was as yet no philosophy 
demanding unity in the Cosmos, or forbidding man to 
hold as accursed so much of nature as did not obviously 
accord with his ideals. 

Mr. Edward B. Tylor has traced the growth of Animism 
from man's shadow and his breathing ; Sir John Lubbock 
has traced the influence of dreams in forming around 
him a ghostly world ; Mr. Herbert Spencer has given an 
analysis of the probable processes by which this invisible 
environment was shaped for the mental conception in 
accordance with family and social conditions. But it is 
necessary that we should here recognise the shadow that 
walked by the moral nature, the breathings of religious 
aspiration, and the dreams which visited a man whose 
moral sense was so generally at variance with his animal 
desires. The code established for the common good, 
while necessarily having a relation to every individual 
conscience, is a restriction upon individual liberty. The 
conflict between selfishness and duty is thus inaugurated ; 
it continues in the struggle between the ' law in the mem- 

^ Yagnaxliii. 


bers and the law in the spirit/ which led Paul to beat his 
body {wTOTTia^ofiaC) to keep it in subjection ; it passes from 
the Latin poet to the Englishman, who turns his experi- 
ence to a rune — 

I see the right, and I approve it too ; 

Condemn the wrong, and yet the wrong pursue. 


As the light which cast it was intense, even so intense 
was the shadow it cast beneath all it could not penetrate. 
Passionate as was the saintliest man s love of good, even 
so passionate was his spiritual enemy's love of evil. High 
as was the azure vault that mingled with his dreams of 
purity, so deep was the abyss beneath his lower nature. 
The superficial equalities of phenomena, painful and plea- 
surable, to his animal nature had cast the mould into 
which his theories of the inward and the moral pheno- 
mena must be cast ; and thus man — in an august moment 
— ^surrendered himself to the dreadful conception of a 
supreme Principle of Wickedness : wherever good was 
there stood its adversary; wherever truth, there its denier; 
no light shone without the dark presence that would 
quench it; innocence had its official accuser, virtue its 
accomplished tempter, peace its breaker, faith its dis- 
turber and mocker. Nay, to this impersonation was 
added the last feature of Hendishness, a nature which 
found its supreme satisfaction in ultimately torturing 
human beings for the sins instigated by himself. % 

It is open to question how far any average of mankind 
really conceived this theological dogma. Easy as it is 
to put into clear verbal statement ; readily as the analo- 
gies of nature supply arguments for and' illustrations of 
a balance between moral light and darkness, love and 
hatred ; yet is man limited in subjective conceptions to 
his own possibilities, and it may almost be said that to 


genuinely believe in an absolute Fiend a man would have 
to be potentially one himself. But any human being, 
animated by causeless and purposeless desire to inflict 
pain on others, would be universally regarded as insane, 
much more one who would without motive corrupt as well 
as afflict. 

Even theological statements of the personality of Evil, 
and what that implies, are rare. The following is brave 
enough to be put on record, apart from its suggestiveness. 

' It cannot be ddnied that as there is an inspiration of 
holy love, so is there an inspiration of hatred, or frantic 
pleasure, with which men surrender themselves to the 
impulses of destructiveness ; and when the popular lan- 
guage speaks of possessions of Satan, of incarnate devils, 
there lies at the bottom of this the grave truth that men, 
by continued sinning, may pass the ordinary limit between 
human and diabolic depravity, and lay open in themselves 
a deep abyss of hatred which, without any mixture of self- 
interest, finds its gratification in devastation and woe.'^ 

On this it may be said that the popular commentary on 
cases of the kind is contained in the very phrase alluded 
to, * possession, '^the implication being that such disin- 
terested depravity is nowise possible within the range of 
simple human experience, — and, in modern times, ' posses- 
sions ' are treated in asylums. Morbid conditions, how- 
ever, are of such varied degrees that it is probable many 
have imagined a Being in whom their worst impulses are 
unrestrained, and thus there have been sufficient popular 
approximations to an imaginative conception of a Devil 
to enable the theological dogma, which few can analyse, 
to survive. 

It must not be supposed, however, that the moral and 

■ ^ 'Die Christliche Lehre von der Sunde.'^ Von Julius Miiller, Breslaa, 
1844, i. 193. 


spiritual ideals, to which allusion has just been made, are 
normally represented in the various Devils which we have 
to consider. It is the characteristic of personifications, 
whether celestial or infernal, to supersede gradually the 
ideas out of which they spring. As in the fable of Agni, 
who is said to have devoured his parents when he was 
born, a metaphor of fire consuming the two sticks which 
produce it, religious history shows both deities and 
devils, by the flame of personal devotion or hatred they 
engender, burning up the ideas that originate them. When 
instead of unconscious forces and inanimate laws working 
to results called good and evil, men see great personal 
Wills engaged in personal conflict, the universe becomes 
a government of combat ; the stars of heaven, the angels 
and the imps, men and women, the very plants and 
animals, are caught up in the battle, to be marshalled on 
one side or the other ; and in the military spirit and fury 
of the struggle the spiritual ideals become as insignificant 
beneath the phantom-hosts they evoked as the violets 
and daisies which an army tramples in its march. There 
is little difference at last between the moral characteristics 
of the respective armies of Ormuzd and Ahriman, Michael 
and Satan ; their strategy and ferocity are the same.^ 
Wherever the conception is that of a universe divided 
into hostile camps, the appropriate passions are kindled, 
and in the thick of the field, where Cruelty and Gentleness 
met, is seen at last a horned Beast confronted by a horned 
Lamb.^ On both sides is exaltation of the horn. 

^ ' Ormazd brought help to me ; by the grace of Ormazd my troops entirely 
defeated the rebel army and took Sitratachmes, and brought him before me. 
Then I cut off his nose and his ears, and I scourged him. He was kept 
chained at my door. All the kingdom beheld him. Afterwards I crucified 
him at Arbela.' So says the tablet of Darius Hystaspes. But what could 
Darius have done ' by the grace of Ahriman ' ? 

' Cf. Rev. V. 6 and xii. 15. 


We need only look at the outcome of the gentle and 
lowly Jesus through the exigencies of the church militant 
to see how potent are such forces. Although lay christians 
of ordinary education are accustomed to rationalise their 
dogmas as well as they can, and dwell on the loving and 
patient characteristics of Jesus, the horns which were 
attached to the brow of him who said, ' Love your enemies* 
by ages of christian warfare remain still in the Christ of 
Theology, and they are still depended on to overawe the 
' sinner/ In an orthodox family with which I have had 
some acquaintance, a little boy, who had used naughty 
expressions of resentment towards a playmate was ad- 
monished that he should be more like Christ, ' who never 
did any harm to his enemies/ * No/ answered the wrath- 
ful child, * but he's a-going to/ 

As in Demonology we trace the struggles of man with 
external obstructions, and the phantasms in which these 
were reflected until they were understood or surmounted, 
we have now to consider the forms which report human 
progression on a higher plane, — that of social, moral, and 
religious evolution. Creations of a crude Theology, in its 
attempt to interpret the moral sentiment, the Devils to 
which we now turn our attention have multiplied as the 
various interests of mankind have come into relations with 
their conscience. Every degree of ascent of the moral 
nature has been marked by innumerable new shadows cast 
athwart the mind and the life of man. Every new heaven 
of ideas is followed by a new earth, but ere this confor- 
mity of things to thoughts caii take place struggles must 
come and the old demons will be recalled for new service. 
As time goes on things new grow old ; the fresh issues 
pass away, their battlefields grow cold ; then the brood of 
superstition must flit away to the next field where carrion 


is found. Foul and repulsive as are these vultures of the 
mind— organisms of moral sewage— every one of them is 
a witness to the victories of mankind over the evils they 
shadow, and to the steady advance of a new earth which 
supplies them no habitat but the archaeologist's page. 

( 13 ) 



Respect for the Devil — Primitive atheism — Idealisation — Birth of new 
gods— New gods diabolised — Compromise between new gods and 
old — Foreign deities degraded — Their utilisation. 

A LADY residing in Hampshire, England, recently said to 
a friend of the present writer, both being mothers, 'Do 
you make your children bow their beads whenever they 
mention the Devil's name i I do,' she added solemnly, 
— ' I think it's safer.' 

This instance of reverence for the Devil's name, occur- 
ring in a respectable English family, may excite a smile ; but 
if my reader has perused the third and fourth chapters (Part 
I.) of this work, in which it was necessary to state certain 
facts and principles which underlie the phenomena of degra- 
dation in both Demonology and Devil-lore, he will already 
know the high significance of nearly all the names which 
have invested the personifications of evil ; and he will not 
be surprised to find their original sanctity, though lowered, 
sometimes, surviving in such imaginary forms after the 
battles in which they were vanquished have passed out of 
all contemporary interest. If, for example, instead of the 
Devil, whose name is uttered with respect in the Hamp- 
shire household, any theological bogey of our own time 
were there mentioned, such as 'Atheist/ it might hardly 
receive such considerate treatment. 

The two chapters just referred to anticipate much that 


should be considered at this point of our inquiry. It is 
only necessary here to supplement them with a brief state- 
ment, and to some extent a recapitulation, of the pro- 
cesses by which degraded deities are preserved to continue 
through a structural development and fulfil a necessary 
part in every theological scheme which includes the con- 
ception of an eternal difference between good and evil. 

Every personification when it first appears expresses a 
higher and larger view. When deities representing the 
physical needs of mankind have failed, as they necessarily 
must, to meet those needs, atheism follows, though it can- 
not for a long time find philosophical expression. It is 
an atheism ad hoCy so to say, and works by degrading 
particular gods instead of by constructing antitheistic 
theories. Successive dynasties of deities arise and flourish 
in this way, each representing a less arbitrary relation to 
nature, — peril lying in that direction, — ^and a higher moral 
and spiritual ideal, this being the stronghold of deities. 
It is obvious that it is far easier to maintain the theory 
that prayers are heard and answered by a deity if those 
prayers are limited to spiritual requests, than when they 
are petitions for outward benefits. By giving over the 
cruel and remorseless forces of nature to the Devil, — f>., 
to this or that personification of them who, as gods, had 
been appealed to in vain to soften such forces, — the more 
spiritual god that follows gains in security as well as 
beauty what he surrenders of empire and omnipotence. 
This law, illustrated in our chapter on Fate, operates with 
tremendous effect upon the conditions under which the 
old combat is spiritualised. 

An eloquent preacher has said : — * Hawthorne's fine 
fancy of the youth who ascribed heroic qualities to the 
stone face on the brow of a cliff, thus converting the 
rocky profile into a man, and, by dint of meditating on it 


with admiring awe, actually transferred to himself the 
moral elements he worshipped, has been made fact a 
thousand times, is made fact every day, by earnest spirits 
who by faithful longing turn their visions into verities, 
and obtain live answers to their petitions to shadows.' ^ 

However imaginary may be the benedictions so derived 
by the worshipper from his image, they are most real as 
they redound to the glory and power of the image. The 
crudest personification, gathering up the sanctities of 
generations, associated with the holiest hopes, the best 
emotions, the profoundest aspirations of human nature, 
may be at length so identified with these sentiments that 
they all seem absolutely dependent upon the image they 
invest Every criticism of such a personification then 
seems like a blow aimed at the moral laws. If educated 
men are still found in Christendom discussing whether 
morality can survive the overthrow of such personifica- 
tions, and whether life were worth living without them, 
we may readily understand how in times when the social, 
ethical, and psychological sciences did not exist at all, 
all that human beings valued seemed destined to stand or 
fall with the Person supposed to be their only keystone. 

But no Personage, however highly throned, can arrest 
the sun and moon, or the mind and life of humanity. 
With every advance in physical or social conditions moral 
elements must be influenced ; every new combination in- 
volves a recast of experiences, and presently of convic- 
tions. Henceforth the deified image can only remain as 
a tyrant over the heart and brain which have created it, — 

Creatura a un tempo 
£ tiranno de Vuom, da cui soltanto 
Ebbe nomi ed aspetti e regno e altari.* 

Prayer and Work.' By Octavius B. Frothingham. New York, 1877. 
Lucifero, Poema di Mario Rapisardi.' Milano, 1877. 


This personification, thus *at once man's creature and 
his tyrant/ is objectively a name. But as it has been 
invested with all that has been most sacred, it is inevi- 
table that any name raised against it shall be equally 
associated with all that has been considered basest This 
also must be personified, for the same reason that the 
good is personified ; and as names are chiefly hereditary, it 
pretty generally happens that the title of some fallen and 
discredited deity is advanced to receive the new anathema. 
But what else does he receive ? The new ideas ; the growing 
ideals and the fresh enthusiasms are associated with some 
fantastic shape with anathematised name evoked from the 
past, and thus a portentous situation is reached. The 
worshippers of the new image will not accept the bad 
name and its base associations; they even grow strong 
enough to claim the name and altars of the existing order, 
and give battle for the same. Then occurs the demoralisa- 
tion, literally speaking, of the older theology. The per- 
sonification reduced to struggle for its existence can no 
longer lay emphasis upon the moral principles it had em- 
bodied, these being equally possessed by their opponents; 
nay, its partisans manage to associate with their holy 
Name so much bigotry and cruelty that the innovators 
are at length willing to resign it The personal loyalty, 
which is found to continue after loyalty to principles has 
ceased, proceeds to degrade the virtues once reverenced 
when they are found connected with a rival name. * He 
casteth out devils through Beelzebub' is a very ancient 
cry. It was heard again when TertuUian said, ^ Satan 
is God's ape.' St Augustine recognises the similarity 
between the observances of christians and pagans as 
proving the subtle imitativeness of the Devil ; the pheno- 
mena referred to are considered elsewhere, but, in the 
present connection, it may be remarked that this readi- 


ness to regard the same sacrament as supremely holy or 
supremely diabolical as it is celebrated in honour of one 
name or another, accords closely with the reverence or 
detestation of things more important than sacraments, as 
they are, or are not, consecrated by what each theology 
deems official sanction* When sects talk of ' mere mor- 
ality ' we may recognise in the phrase the last faint war-cry 
of a god from whom the spiritual ideal has passed away, 
and whose name even can survive only through alliance 
with the new claimant of his altars. While the new gods 
were being called devils the old ones were becoming such. 
The victory of the new ideal turns the old one to an 
idol. But we are considering a phase of the world 
when superstition must invest the new as well as the old, 
though in a weaker degree. A new religious system pre- 
vails chiefly through its moral superiority to that it super- 
sedes; but when it has succeeded to the temples and 
altars consecrated to previous divinities, when the ardour 
of battle is over and conciliation becomes a policy as well 
as a virtue, the old idol is likely to be treated with respect, 
and may not impossibly be brought into friendly relation 
with its victorious adversary. He may take his place 
as * the second best,' to borrow Goethe's phrase, and be 
assigned some function in the new theologic regime. Thus, 
behind the simplicity of the Hampshire lady instructing 
her children to bow at mention of the Devil's name, stretch 
the centuries in which christian divines have as warmly 
defended the existence of Satan as that of God himself. 
With sufficient reason: that infernal being, some time God's 
' ape ' and rival, was necessarily developed into his present 
position and office of agent and executioner under the 
divine government. He is the great Second Best ; and it 
is a strange hallucination to fancy that, in an aip;e of oeac e- 
iul inquiry, any divine personification can be maintained 


without this patient Goat, who bears blame for all the 
faults of nature, and who relieves divine Love from the 
odium of supplying that fear which is the mother of devo- 
tion, — ^at least in the many millions of illogical eyes into 
which priests can still look without laughing. 

Such, in brief outline, has been the interaction of moral 
and intellectual forces operating within the limits of estab- 
lished systems, and of the nations governed by them. But 
there are added factors, intensifying the forces on each 
side, when alien are brought into rivalry and collision with 
national deities. In such a contest, besides the moral and 
spiritual sentiments and the household sanctities, which 
have become intertwined with the internal deities, national 
pride is also enlisted, and patriotism. But on the other 
side is enlisted the charm of novelty, and the conscious- 
ness of fault and failure in the home system. Every system 
imported to a foreign land leaves behind its practical 
shortcomings, puts its best foot forward — namely, its 
theoretical foot — ^and has the advantage of suggesting a 
way of escape from the existing routine which has become 
oppressive. Napoleon I. said that no people profoundly 
attached to the institutions of their country can be con- 
quered; but what people are attached to the priestly 
system over them ? That internal dissatisfaction which, 
in secular government, gives welcome to a dashing Cor- 
sican or a Prince of Orange, has been the means of intro- 
ducing many an alien religion, and giving to many a pro- 
phet the honour denied him in his own country. Buddha 
was a Hindu, but the triumph of his religion is not in 
India ; Zoroaster was a Persian, but there are no Parsees 
in Persia; Christianity is hardly a colonist even in the 
native land of Christ. 

These combinations and changes were not effected with* 
out fierce controversies, ferocious wars, or persecutions^ 


and the formation of' many devils. Nothing is more 
normal in ancient systems than the belief that the gods 
of other nations are devils. The slaughter of the priests 
of Baal corresponds with the development of their god 
into Beelzebub. In proportion to the success of Olaf in 
crushing the worshippers of Odin, their deity is steadily 
transformed to a diabolical Wild Huntsman. But here 
also the forces of partial recovery, which we have seen 
operating in the outcome of internal reform, manifest 
themselves ; the vanquished, and for a time outlawed 
deity, is, in many cases, subsequently conciliated and 
given an inferior, and, though hateful, a useful office in the 
new order. Sometimes, indeed, as in the case of the 
Hindu destroyer Siva, it is found necessary to assign a 
god, anathematised beyond all power of whitewash, to an 
equal rank with the most virtuous deity. Political forces 
and the exigencies of propagandism work many marvels 
of this kind, which will meet us in the further stages of 
our investigation. 

Every superseded god who survives in subordination 
to another is pretty sure to be developed into a Devil. 
Euphemism may tell pleasant fables about him, priest- 
craft may find it useful to perpetuate belief in his exist- 
ence, but all the evils of the universe, which it is incon- 
venient to explain, are gradually laid upon him, and sink 
him down, until nothing is left of his former glory but a 
shining name. 

( «o ) 



Mr. Irving's impersonation of Superstition — Revolution against pious 
privilege — Doctrine of 'merits' — Saintly immorality in India — 
A Pantheon turned Inferno — ^Zendavesta on Good and Evil — 
Parsi Mythology — The Combat of Ahriman with Ormuzd — Op- 
timism — Parsi Eschatology— Final Restoration of Ahriman. 

Any one who has witnessed Mr. Henry Irving's scholarly 
and masterly impersonation of the character of Louis XL 
has had an opportunity of recognising a phase of supersti- 
tion which happily it were now difficmlt to find off the 
stage. Nothing could exceed the fine realism with which 
that artist brought before the spectator the perfected type 
of a pretended religion from which all moral features have 
been eliminated by such slow processes that the final 
success is unconsciously reached, and the horrible result 
appears unchecked by even any aflfectation of actual 
virtue. We see the king at sound of a bell pausing in his 
instructions for a treacherous assassination to mumble his 
prayers, and then instantly reverting to the villany over 
whose prospective success he gloats. In the secrecy of 
his chamber no mask falls, for there is no mask; the 
face of superstition and vice on which we look is the 
real face which the ages of fanaticism have transmitted 
to him. 

Such a face has oftener been that of a nation than that 


of an individual, for the healthy forces of life work amid 
the homes and hearts of mankind long before their 
theories are reached and influenced. Such a face it was 
against which the moral insurrection which bears the 
name of Zoroaster arose, seeing it as physiognomy of the 
Evil Mind, naming it Ahriman, and, in the name of the 
conscience, aiming at it the blow which is still felt across 
the centuries. 

Ingenious theorists have accounted for the Iranian 
philosophy of a universal war between Ormuzd (Ahura- 
mazda) the Good, and Ahriman (Angromainyus) the Evil, 
by vast and terrible climatic changes, involving extremes 
of heat and cold, of which geologists find traces about Old 
Iran, from which a colony of Aryans migrated to New 
Iran, or Persia. But although physical conditions of this 
character may have supplied many of the metaphors in 
which the conflict between Good and Evil is described in 
the Avesta, there are other characteristics of that ancient 
scripture which render it more probable that the early 
colonisation of Persia was, like that of New England, the 
result of a religious struggle. Some of the gods most 
adored in India reappear as execrated demons in the 
religion of Zoroaster; the Hindu word for god is the 
Parsi word for devil. These antagonisms are not merely 
verbal ; they are accompanied in the Avesta with the most 
furious denunciations of theological opponents, whom it is 
not difficult to identify with the priests and adherents of 
the Brahman religion. 

The spirit of the early scriptures of India leaves no 
room for doubt as to the point at which this revolution 
began. It was against pious Privilege. The saintly 
hierarchy of India were a caste quite irresponsible to moral 
laws. The ancient gods, vague names for the powers of 
nature, were strictly limited in their dispensations to those 


of their priests;^ and as to these priests the chief neces- 
sities were ample offerings, sacrifices, and fulfilment of the 
ceremonial ordinances in which their authority was organ- 
ised, these were the performances rewarded by a recip- 
rocal recognition of authority. To the image of this 
political regime, theology, always facile, accommodated 
the regulations of the gods. The moral law can only live 
by being supreme; and as it was not supreme in the 
Hindu pantheon, it died out of it. The doctrine of * merits,* 
invented by priests purely for their own power, included 
nothing meritorious, humanly considered ; the merits con- 
sisted of costly sacrifices, rich offerings to temples, tre- 
mendous penances for fictitious sins, ingeniously devised 
to aggrandise the penances which disguised power, and 
prolonged austerities that might be comfortably commuted 
by the wealthy. When this doctrine had obtained genera] 
adherence, and was represented by a terrestrial government 
corresponding to it, the gods were necessarily subject to 
it. That were only to say that the powers of nature were 
obedient to the * merits ' of privileged saints ; and from 
this it is an obvious inference that they are relieved from 
moral laws binding on the vulgar. 

The legends which represent this phase of priestly 
dominion are curiously mixed. It^would appear that 
under the doctrine of 'merits' the old gods declined. 
Such appears to be the intimation of the stories which 
report the distress of the gods through the power of 
human saints. The Rajah Ravana acquired such power 
that he was said to have arrested the sun and moon, and so 

^ £ quanto ebbe e mantiene a raom soltanto 
II deve, a raom che d'oqui sue destino 
O prospero, o maligno, arbitro e solo. 
' Whatever he (God) had, he owed to man alone, to man who, for good or 
ill, is sole arbiter of his own izX^,^^RapisardCs Lucifero. 


oppressed the gods that they temporarily transformed 
themselves to monkeys in order to destroy him. Though 
Viswdmitra murders a saint, his merits are such that the 
gods are in great alarm lest they become his menials; and 
the completeness, with which moral considerations are 
left out of the struggle on both sides is disclosed in the 
item that the gods commissioned a nymph to seduce the 
saintly murderer, and so reduce a little the force of his 
austerities. It will be remembered that the ancient 
struggle of the Devas and Asuras was not owing to any 
moral differences, but to an alleged unfair distribution of 
the ambrosia produced by their joint labours in churning the 
ocean. The fact that the gods cheated the demons on that 
occasion was never supposed to affect the supremacy they 
acquired by the treachery ; and it could, therefore, cause 
no scandal when later legends reported that the demons 
were occasionally able to take gods captive by the practice 
of these wonderful 'merits* which were so independent of 
morals. One Asura is said to have gained such power in this 
way that he subjugated the gods, and so punished them 
that Siva, who had originally endowed that demon, called 
into being Scanda, a war-god, to defend the tortured 
deities. The most ludicrous part of all is that the gods 
themselves were gradually reduced to the necessity of 
competing like others for these tremendous powers ; thus 
the Bhagavat Furana states that Brahma was enabled to 
create the universe by previously undergoing penance for 
sixteen thousand years. 

The legends just referred to 'are puranic, and conse- 
quently of much later date than the revolution traceable 
in the Iranian religion ; but these l&ter legends are normal 
growths from vedic roots. These were the principles of 
ancient theology, and the foundation of priestly govern- 
ment. In view of them we need not wonder that Hindu 


theology devised no special devil ; almost any of its gods 
might answer the purposes of one. Nor need we be sur- 
prised that it had no particular hell ; any society or^ranised 
by the sanctions of religion, but irresponsible to its moral 
laws, would render it unnecessary to look far for a hell. 

From this cosmological chaos the more intelligent 
Hindus were of course liberated ; but the degree to which 
the fearful training had corrupted the moral tissues of 
those who had been subjected to it was revealed in the 
bald principle of their philosophers, that the supersti- 
tion must continue to be imposed on the vulgar, whilst 
the learned might turn all the gods into a scientific 

The first clear and truthful eye that touched that sys- 
tem would transform it from a Heaven to an Inferno. So 
was it changed under the eye of Zoroaster. That ancient 
pantheon which had become a refuge for all the lies of 
the known world; whose gods were liars and their sup- 
porters liars ; was now turned into a realm of organised 
disorder, of systematised wrong ; a vast creation of wicked- 
ness, at whose centre sat its creator and inspirer, the im- 
moral g©d, the divine devil — Ahriman. 

It is indeed impossible to ascertain how far the revolt 
against the old Brahmanic system was political. It is, 
of course, highly improbable that any merely speculative 
system would excite a revolution ; but at the same time it 
must be remembered that, in early days, an importance 
was generally attached to even abstract opinions such 
as we still find among the superstitious who r^^ard an 
atheistic sentiment as worse than a theft However this 
may have been, the Avesta does not leave us in any doubt 
as to the main fact, — namely, that at a certain time and 
place man came to a point where he had to confront 
antagonism to fundamental moral principles, and that he 


found the so-called gods against him. In the establish- 
ment of those principles priests recognised their own dis- 
establishment. What those moral laws that had become 
necessary to society were is also made clear. • We wor- 
ship the Pure, the Lord of Purity I' *We honour the 
* good spirit, the good kingdom, the good law, — all that 
is good.' *Evil doctrine shall not again destroy the 
world.' * Good is the thought, good the word, good the 
deed, of the pure Zarathustra.' *In the beginning the 
two heavenly Ones spoke — the Good to the Evil — thus : 
Our souls, doctrines, words, works, do not unite together.' 
These sentences are from the oldest G&thSs of the Avesta. 
The following is a very ancient Githd : — * All your 
Devas (Hindu ' gods *) are only manifold children of the 
Evil Mind, and the great One who worships the Saoma of 
lies and deceits; besides the treacherous acts for which 
you are notorious in the Seven Regions of the earth. 
You have invented all the evil that men speak and do, 
which is indeed pleasant to the Devas, and is devoid of all 
goodness, and therefore perishes before the insight of the 
truth of the wise. Thus you defraud men of their good 
minds and of their immortality by your evil minds — as 
well by those of the Devas as through that of the Evil 
Spirit — ^through evil deeds and evil words, whereby the 
power of liars grows, 

* I. Come near, and listen to the wise sayings of the 
omniscient, the songs in praise of the Living One, and the 
prayers of the Good Spirit, the glorious truths whose 
origin is seen in the flames. 

* 2. Listen, therefore, to the Earth spirit — Look at the 
flames with reverent mind. Every one, man and woman, 
is to be distinguished according to his belief. Ye ancient 
Powers, watch and be with us ! 

*3. From the beginning there were two Spirits, each 


active in itself. They are the good and the bad in 
thought, word, and deed. Choose ye between them : do 
good, not evil I 

'4. And these two Spirits meet and create the first 
existence, the earthy, that which is and that which is not, 
and the last, the spiritual. The worst existence is for the 
liars, the best for the truthful. 

' 5. Of these two spirits choose ye one, either the lying, 
the worker of Evil, or the true holiest spirit Whoso 
chooses the first chooses the hardest fate ; whoso the last, 
honours Ahuramazda in faith and in truth by his deeds. 

* 6. Ye cannot serve both of these two. An evil spirit 
whom we will destroy surprises those who deliberate, say- 
ing. Choose the Evil Mind I Then do those spirits gather 
in troops to attack the two lives of which the prophets 

' 7. And to this earthly life came Armaiti with earthly 
power to help the truth, and the good disposition : she, 
the Eternal, created the material world, but the Spirit is 
with thee, O Wise One ! the first of creations in time. 

* 8. When any evil falls upon the spirit, thou, O Wise 
One, givest temporal possessions and a good disposition ; 
but him whose promises are lies, and not truth, thou 

Around the hymns of the Avesta gradually grew a 
theology and a mythology which were destined to exert a 
powerful influence on the world. These are contained in the 
Bundehesch.^ Anterior to all things and all beings was 
Zeruane-Akrene (* Boundless Time*), so exalted that 
he can only be worshipped in silence. From him eman- 
ated two Ferouers, spiritual types, which took form in 
two beings, Ormuzd and Ahriman. These were equally 

^ The following abridgment mainly follows that of James Freeman Clarke 
in his * Ten Great Religions.' 


pure; but Ahriman became jealous of his first-born 
brother, Ormuzd. To punish Ahriman for his evil feeling, 
the Supreme Being condemned him to 12,000 years' im- 
prisonment in an empire of rayless Darkness. During that 
period must rage the conflict between Light and Darkness, 
Good and Evil. As Ormuzd had his pre-existing type or 
Ferouer, so by a similar power — much the same as the 
Platonic Logos or Word — he created the pure or spiritual 
world, by means of which the empire of Ahriman should 
be overthrown. On the earth (still spiritual) he raised the 
exceeding high mountain Albordj, Elburz (snow mountain),^ 
on whose summit he fixed his throne ; whence he stretched 
the bridge Chinevat, which, passing directly over Duzhak, 
the abyss of Ahriman (or hell), reaches to the portal of 
Gorodman, or heaven. All this was but a Ferouer world 
— a prototype of the material world. In anticipation of 
its incorporation in a material creation, Ormuzd (by emana- 
tions) created in his own image six Amshaspands, or agents, 
of both sexes, to be models of perfection to lower spirits — 
and to mankind, when they should be created — and offer 
up their prayers to himself. The second series of emana- 
tions were the Izeds, benevolent genii and guardians of 
the world, twenty-eight in number, of whom the chief is 
Mithras, the Mediator. The third series of emanations 
were the innumerable Ferouers of things and men — for 
each must have its soul^ which shall purify them in the 
day of resurrection. In antagonism to all these, Ahriman 
produced an exactly similar host of dark and evil powers. 
These Devas rise, rank on rank, to their Arch-Devs— each 
of whom is chained to his planet — and their head is Ash- 
Mogh, the 'two-footed serpent of lies,' who seems to 
correspond to Mithras, the divine Mediator. 

* White or Snowy Mountain. C/ Alp, Elf, &c. 


After a reign of 3000 years Ormuzd entered on the work 
of realising his spiritual emanations in a material universe. 
He formed the sun as commander-in-chief, the moon as 
his lieutenant, the planets as captains of a great host — 
the stars — who were soldiers in his war against Ahriman. 
The dog Sirius he set to watch at the bridge Chinevat 
(the Milky Way), lest thereby Ahriman should scale the 
heavens. Ormuzd then created earth and water, which 
Ahriman did not try to prevent, knowing that darkness 
was inherent in these. But he struck a blow when life 
was produced. This was in form of a Bull, and Ahriman 
entered it and it perished; but on its destruction there 
came out of its left shoulder the seed of all clean and 
gentle animals, and, out of its right shoulder — Man. 

Ahriman had matched every creation thus far ; but to 
make man was beyond his power, and he had no recourse 
but to destroy him. However, when the original man was 
destroyed, there sprang from his body a tree which bore 
the first human pair, whom Ahriman, however, corrupted 
in the manner elsewhere described. 

It is a very notable characteristic of this Iranian theology, 
that although the forces of good and evil are co-extensive 
and formally balanced, in potency they are not quite 
equal. The balance of force is just a little on the side of 
the Good Spirit And this advantage appears in man. 
Zoroaster said, 'No earthly man with a hundredfold 
strength does so much evil as Mithra with heavenly 
strength does good ; ' and this thought reappears in the 
Parst belief that the one part of paradisiac purity, which 
man retained after his fall, balances the ninety-nine parts 
won by Ahriman, and in the end will redeem him. For 
this one divine ray preserved enables him to receive and 
obey the Avesta, and to climb to heaven by the stairway 
of three vast steps — ^pure thought, pure word, pure deed. 


The optimistic essence of the mythology is further shown 
in the belief that every destructive effort of Ahriman 
resulted in a larger benefit than Ormuzd had created. 
The Bull (Life) destroyed, man and animal sprang into 
being; the man destroyed, man and woman appeared. 
And so on to the end. In the last quarter of the 12,000 
years for which Ahriman was condemned, he rises to 
greater power even than Ormuzd, and finally he will, by 
a fiery comet, set the visible universe in conflagration; 
but while this scheme is waxing to consummation Ormuzd 
will send his holy Prophet Sosioch, who will convert man- 
kind to the true law,^ so that when Ahriman's comet con* 
sumes the earth he will really be purifying it Through 
the vast stream of melted metals and minerals the right- 
eous shall pass, and to them it will be as a bath of warm 
milk: the wicked in attempting to pass shall be swept 
into the abyss of Duzhak; having then suffered three 
days and nights, they shall be raised by Ormuzd refined 
and purified. Duzhak itself shall be purified by this fire, 
and last of all Ahriman himself shall ascend to his original 
purity and happiness. Then from the ashes of the former 
world shall bloom a paradise that shall remain for ever. 

In this system it is notable that we find the monster 
serpent of vedic mythology, Ahi, transformed into an in- 
fernal region, Duzhak. The dragon, being a type of 
physical suffering, passes away in Iranian as in the later 
Semitic mythology before the new form, which represents 
the stings of conscience though it may be beneath ex- 
ternal pleasure. In this respect, therefore, Ahriman fulfils 
the definition of a devil already given. In the Avesta he 
fulfils also another condition essential to a devil, the love 
,of evil in and for itself. But in the later theology it will 

^ ' Elias shall first come and restore all things.' 


be observed that evil in Ahriman is not organic The 
war being over and its fury past, the hostile chief is seen 
not so black as he had been painted ; the belief obtains 
that he does not actually love darkness and evil He was 
thrust into them as a punishment for his jealousy, pride, 
and destructive ambition. And because that dark king- 
dom was a punishment — therefore not congenial — ^it was 
at length (the danger past) held to be disciplinary. Grow- 
ing faith in the real supremacy of Good discovers the im- 
moral god to be an exaggerated anthropomorphic egoist ; 
this divine devil is a self-centred potentate who had 
attempted to subordinate moral law and human welfare 
to his personal ascendancy. His fate having sealed the 
sentence on all ambitions of that character, humanity is 
able to pardon the individual offender, and find a hope 
that Ahriman, having learned that no real satisfaction 
for a divine nature can be found in mere power detached 
from rectitude, will join in the harmony of love and 
loyalty at last 

( 31 ) 



Priestcraft and Pessimism — An Aryan Tetzel and his Luther — Brah- 
man Frogs — Evolution of the sacerdotal Saint — Viswdmitra the 
Accuser of Virtue — The Tamil Passion-play * Haridchandra ' — 
Ordeal of Goblins— The Martyr of Truth — ^Virtue triumphant 
over ceremonial 'merits' — Hari§chandra and Job. 

Priestcraft in government means pessimism in the 
creed and despair in the heart Under sacerdotal rule in 
India it seemed paradise enough to leave the world, and 
the only hell dreaded was a return to it. * The twice-born 
man/ says Manu, 'who shall without intermission have 
passed the time of his studentship, shall ascend after 
death to the most exalted of regions, and no more spring 
to birth again in this lower world.' Some clause was 
necessary to keep the twice-born man from suicide. Bud- 
dha invented a plan of suicide-in-life combined with anni- 
hilation of the gods, which was driven out of India because 
it put into the minds of the people the philosophy of the 
schools. Thought could only be trusted among classes 
interested to conceal it. 

The power and authority of a priesthood can only be 
maintained on the doctrine that man is 'saved' by the 
deeds of a ceremonial law; any general belief that 
morality is more acceptable to gods than ceremonies 
must be fatal to those occult and fictitious virtues which 
hedge about every pious impostor. Sacerdotal power 
in India depended on superstitions carefully fostered 


concerning the mystical properties of a stimulating juice 
(soma), litanies, invocations, and benedictions by priests; 
upon sacrifices to the gods, including their priests, aus- 
terities, penances, pilgrimages, and the like; one char- 
acteristic running through all the performances — their 
utter worthlessness to any being in the universe except 
the priest. An artificial system of this kind has to create 
its own materials, and evoke forces of evolution from many 
regions of nature. It is a process requiring much more 
than the wisdom of the serpent and more than its harm- 
fulness; and there is a bit of nature's irony in the fact that 
when the Brahman Rishi gained supremacy, the Cobra was 
also worshipped as belonging to precisely the same caste 
and sanctity. 

There are traces of long and fierce struggles preceding 
this consummation. Even in the Vedic age — in the very 
dawn of religious history — Tetzel appears with his indul- 
gences and Luther confronts him. The names they bore 
in ancient India were Viswdmitra and Vasishtha. Both 
of these were among the seven powerful Rishis who 
made the hierarchy of India in the earliest age known 
to us. Both were composers of some of the chief hymns 
of the Vedas, and their respective hymns bear the 
stamp of the sacerdotal and the anti-sacerdotal parties 
which contended before the priestly sway had reached 
its complete triumph. Viswdmitra was champion of the 
high priestly party and its political pretensions. In the 
Rig- Veda there are forty hymns ascribed to him and his 
family, nearly all of which celebrate the divine virtues of 
Soma-juice and the Soma-sacrifice. As the exaltation 
of the priestly caste in Israel was connected with a 
miracle, in which the Jordan stopped flowing till the ark 
had been carried over, so the rivers Sutledge and Reyah 
were said to have rested from their course when Viswd- 


mitra wished to cross them in seeking the Soma. This 
Rishi became identified in the Hindu mind for all time 
with political priestcraft. On the other hand, Vasishtha 
became equally famous for his hostility to that power, 
as well as for his profoundly religious character^ — the 
finest hymns of the Vedas, as to moral feeling, being 
those that bear his name. The anti-sacerdotal spirit of 
Vasishtha is especially revealed in a strange satirical 
hymn in which he ridicules the ceremonial Brdhmans 
under the guise of a panegyric on frogs. In this com- 
position occur such verses as these : — 

' Like Brihmans at the Soma-sacrifice of Atir&tra, sitting 
round a full pond and talking, you, O frogs, celebrate this 
day of the year when the rainy season begins. 

' These Brdhmans, with their Soma, have had their say, 
performing the annual rite. These Adhwaryus, sweating 
while they carry the hot pots, pop out like hermits. 

* They have always observed the order of the gods as 
they are to be worshipped in the twelvemonth ; these men 
do not neglect their season. . . . 

* Cow-noise gave. Goat-noise gave, the Brown gave, and 
the Green gave us treasures. The frogs, who give us 
hundreds of cows, lengthened our life in the rich autumn.'^ 

Viswdmitra and Vasishtha appear to have been power- 
ful rivals in seeking the confidence of King Sudds, and 
from their varying fortunes came the tremendous feud 
between them which plays so large a part in the traditions 

^ That this satirical hymn was admitted into the Rig- Veda shows that these 
hymns were collected whilst they were still in the hands of the ancient Hindu 
families as common property, and were not yet the exclusive property of Brah- 
mans as a caste or association. Further evidence of the same kind is given 
by a hymn in which the expression occurs — ' Do not be as lazy as a Br&hman.' 
— Mrs. Manning's Ancunt and Mediaval India^ i. 77. In the same work some 
particulars are given of the persons mentioned in this chapter. The Frog- 
satire is translated by Max MuUer, A. S. L., p. 494. 



of India. The men were both priests, as are both ritualists 
and broad-churchmen in the present day. They were 
borne on the stream of mythologic evolution to repre- 
sentative regions very different from any they could have 
contemplated. Vasishtha, ennobled by the moral sentiment 
of ages, appears as the genius of truth and justice, main- 
taining these as of more 'merit' than any ceremonial 
perfections. The Brdhmans, whom he once ridiculed, 
were glad enough in the end to make him their patron 
saint, though they did not equally honour his principles. 
On the other hand, Viswdmitra became the type of that 
immoral divinity which received its Iranian anathema in 
Ahriman. The murder he commits is nothing in a per- 
sonage whose Soma-celebrations have raised him so high 
above the trivialities of morality. 

It is easy to see what must be the further development 
of such a type as Viswdmitra when he shall have passed 
from the guarded pages of puranic tradition to the terrible 
simplicities of folklore. The saint whose majesty is built 
on ' merits,' which have no relation to what the humble 
deem virtues, naturally holds such virtues in cynical con- 
tempt ; naturally also he is indignant if any one dares to 
suggest that the height he has reached by costly and pro- 
longed observances may be attained by poor and com- 
mon people through the practice of virtue. The next 
step is equally necessary. Since it is hard to argue down 
the facts of human nature, Vasishtha is pretty sure to have 
a strong, if sometimes silent, support for his heretical 
theory of a priesthood representing virtue ; consequently 
Viswdmitra will be reduced at length to deny the exis- 
tence of virtue, and will become the Accuser of those to 
whom virtues are attributed. Finally, from the Accuser 
to the Tempter the transition is inevitable. The public 
Accuser must try and make good his case, and if the 


facts do not support it, he must create other facts 
which will, or else bear the last brand of his tribe — 

Leaving out of sight all historical or probable facts con- 
cerning ViswAmitra and Vasishtha, but remembering the 
spirit of them, let us read the great Passion-play of the 
East, in which their respective parts are performed again 
as intervening ages have interpreted them. The hero of 
this drama is an ancient king named Hari^chandra, who, 
being childless, and consequently unable to gain immor- 
tality, promised the god Varuna to sacrifice to him a son 
\i one were granted him. The son having been born, the 
father beseeches Varuna for respite, which is granted 
again and again, but stands firmly by his promise, al- 
though it is finally commuted. The repulsive features of 
the ancient legend are eliminated in the drama, the pro- 
mise now being for a vast sum of money which the king 
cannot pay, but which Viswdmitra would tempt him to 
escape by a technical fiction. Sir Mutu Cumdra Swdmy, 
whose translation I follow, presents many evidences of 
the near relation in which this drama stands to the re- 
ligious faith of the people in Southern India and parts of 
Ceylon, where its representation never fails to draw vast 
crowds from every part of the district in which it may 
occur, the impression made by it being most profound.^ 

We are first introduced to Hari^chandra, King of Ay6- 
diah (Oude), in his palace, surrounded by every splendour, 
and by the devotion of his prosperous people. His first 

^ * Arichandra, the Martyr of Truth : A Tamil Drama translated into Eng- 
lise by Mutu Coom&ra Sw&my, Mudliar, Member of Her Majesty's Legisla- 
tive Council of Ceylon,' &c. London : Smith, Elder, & Co. 1863. This 
drama, it must be constantly borne in mind, in nowise represents the Vedic 
legend, told in the Aitereya-Brdhmana, vii. 13-18 ; nor the puranic legend, 
told in the Merkandeya-Purana. I have altered the spelling of the names to 
the Sanskrit forms, but otherwise follow Sir M. C. S.'s translation. 


word IS an ascription tx) the ' God of gods.* His ministers 
come forward and recount the wealth and welfare of the 
nation. The first Act witnesses the marriage of Hari^- 
chandra with the beautiful princess Chandravatf, and it 
closes with the birth of a son. 

The second Act brings us into the presence of Indra in 
the Abode of the Gods. The Chief enters the Audience 
Hall of his palace, where an assembly of deities and sages 
has awaited him. These sages are holy men who have 
acquired supernatural power by their tremendous austeri- 
ties; and of these the most august is Viswimitra. By 
the magnitude and extent of his austerities he has gained 
a power beyond even that of the Triad, and can reduce 
the worlds to cinders. All the gods court his favour. As 
the Council proceeds, Indra addresses the sages — ^ Holy 
men 1 as gifted with supernatural attributes, you roam the 
universe with marvellous speed, there is no place unknown 
to you. I am curious to learn who, in the present times, 
is the most virtuous sovereign on the earth below. What 
chief of mortals is there who has never told a lie — ^who 
has never swerved from the course of justice } ' Vasishtha, 
a powerful sage and family-priest of Hari^chandra^ de- 
clares that his royal disciple is such a man. But the 
more powerful Viswdmitra denounces Hari^chandra as cruel 
and a liar. The quarrel between the two Rishis waxes 
fierce, until Indra puts a stop to it by deciding that an 
experiment shall be made on Hari^chandra. Vasishtha 
agrees that if his disciple can be shown to have told a lie, 
or can be made to tell one, the fruit of his life-long austeri- 
ties, and all the power so gained, shall be added to Viswa- 
mitra ; while the latter must present his opponent with 
half of his * merits' if Hari^chandra be not made to swerve 
from the truth. Viswdmitra is to employ any means what- 
ever, neither Indra or any other interfering. 


Viswimitra sets about his task of trying and tempt- 
ing Harifchandra by informing that king that, in order 
to perform a sacrifice of special importance^ he has need 
of a mound of gold as high as a missile slung by a 
man standing on an elephant's back. With the demand 
of so sacred a being Hari^chandra has no hesitation in 
complying, and is about to deliver the gold when Viswd- 
mitra requests him to be custodian of the money for a 
time, but perform the customary ceremony of transfer. 
Holding Hari^chandra's written promise to deliver the 
gold whensoever demanded, Viswdmitra retires with com- 
pliments.- Then wild beasts ravage Hari^chandra's terri- 
tory ; these being expelled, a demon boar is sent, but is 
vanquished by the monarch. Viswimitra then sends un- 
chaste dancing-girls to tempt Hari^chandra ; and when he 
has ordered their removal, Viswdmitra returns with them, 
and, feigning rage, accuses him of slaying innocent beasts 
and of cruelty to the girls. He declares that unless Hari^- 
chandra yields to the Pariah damsels, he himself shall be 
reduced to a Pariah slave. Harifichandra offers all his 
kingdom and possessions if the demand is withdrawn, 
absolutely refusing to swerve from his virtue. This Viswd- 
mitra accepts, is proclaimed sovereign of Ay6diah, and the 
king goes forth a beggar with his wife and child. But now, 
as these are departing, Viswdmitra demands that mound of 
gold which was to be paid when called for. In vain HariiS- 
chandra pleads that he has already delivered up all he 
possesses, the gold included ; the last concession is declared 
to have nothing to do with the first Yet Viswdmitra says 
he will be charitable ; if Hari^chandra will simply declare 
that he never pledged the gold, or, having done so, does 
not feel bound to pay it, he will cancel that debt. * Such 
a declaration I can never make,' replies Hari^chandra. * I 
owe thee the gold, and pay it I shall. Let a messenger 


accompany me and leave me not till I have given him 
thy due.' 

From this time the efforts of Viswimitra are directed to 
induce Hari^chandra to declare the money not due. Amid 
his heartbroken people — who cry, * Where are the gods ? 
Can they tolerate this ? ' — he who was just now the greatest 
and happiest monarch in the world goes forth on the high- 
way a wanderer with his Chandravatf and their son Deva- 
rdta dressed in coarsest garments. His last royal deed is 
to set the crown on his tempter's head. The people and 
officers follow, and beg his permission to slay Viswdmitra, 
but he rebukes them, and counsels submission. Viswa- 
mitra orders a messenger, Nakshatra, to accompany the 
three wretched ones, and inflict the severest sufferings on 
them until the gold is paid, and amid each ordeal to offer 
Hari^chandra all his former wealth and happiness if he 
will utter a falsehood. 

They come to a desert whose sands are so hot that the 
wife faints. Hari^chandra bears his son in his arms, but 
in addition is compelled to bear Nakshatra (the Brdhman 
and tormentor) on his shoulders. They so pass amid 
snakes and scorpions, and receive terrible stings; they 
pass through storm and flood, and yet vainly does Nak- 
shatra suggest the desired falsehood. 

Then follows the ordeal of Demons, which gives an 
interesting insight into Tamil Demonology. One of the 
company exclaims — ' How frightful they look ! Who can 
face them } They come in battalions, young and old, 
small and great — all welcome us. They disport them- 
selves with a wild dance ; flames shoot from their mouths ; 
their feet touch not the earth ; they move in the air. 
Observe you the bleeding corpses of human beings in 
their hands. Th6y crunch them and feed on the flesh. 
The place is one mass of gore and filth. Wolves and 


hyaenas bark at them; jackals and dogs follow them. 
They are near. May Siva protect us!' 

Nakshatra. How dreadful ! Hari^chandra, what is 
this ? Look I evil demons stare at me — I tremble for my 
life. Protect me now, and I ask you no more for the 

HariSchandra. Have no fear, Nakshatra. Come, 
place thyself in the midst of us. 

Chief of the Goblins. Men! little men! human 
vermin 1 intrude ye thus into my presence } Know that, 
save only the Brdhman standing in the midst of you, you 
are all my prey to-night. 

HARISCHANDRA. Goblin ! certainly thou art not an 
evil-doer, for thou hast excepted this holy Brdhman. As 
for ourselves, we know that the bodies which begin to exist 
upon earth must also cease to exist on it. What matters 
it when death comes ? If he spares us now he reserves us 
only for another season. Good, kind demon I destroy us 
then together ; here we await our doom. 

Nakshatra. HariiSchandra ! before you thus desert me, 
make the goblin promise you that he will not hurt me. 

HARISCHANDRA. Thou hast no cause for alarm; thou 
art safe. 

Chief of the Goblins. Listen ! I find that all four of 

you are very thin ; it is not worth my while to kill you. 
On examining closely, I perceive that the young Brdhman 
is plump and fat as a wild boar. Give him up to me — I 
want not the rest. 

Nakshatra. O Gods I O Harifchandral you are a 
great monarch ! Have mercy on me ! Save me, save 
me ! I will never trouble you for the gold, but treat you 
considerately hereafter. 

HARISCHANDRA. Sir, thy life is safe, stand still. 


Nakshatra. Allow me, sirs, to come closer to you, and 
to hold you by the hand {He grasps their hands) 

HariS€HANDRA. King of the Goblins ! I address thee 
in all sincerity; thou wilt confer on us a great favour 
indeed by despatching us speedily to the Judgment Hall 
of the God of Death* The Brdhman must not be touched ; 
devour us. 

The Goblin (grinding his teeth in great fury). What ! 
dare you disobey me? Will you not deliver the Brdhman ? 

HariSchandra. No, we cannot. We alone are thy 


\Pay brcakSy and the goblins disappear^ 

Having thus withstood all temptation to harm his enemy, 
or to break a promise he had given to treat him kindly, 
HariiSchandra is again pressed for the gold or the lie, and, 
still holding out, an ordeal of fire follows. Trusting the 
God of Fire will cease to afflict if one is sacrificed, Harifi- 
chandra prepares to enter the conflagration first, and a 
pathetic contention occurs between him and his wife and 
son as to which shall be sacrificed. In the end Harij- 
chandra rushes in, but does not perish. 

Hari^chandra is hoping to reach the temple of Vis 
Wandth ^ at Kasi and invoke his aid to pay the gold. To 
the temple he comes only to plead in vain, and Nakshatra 
tortures him with instruments. Finally Harifchandra, his 
wife and child, are sold as slaves to pay the debt But 
Viswamitra, invisibly present, only redoubles his persecu- 
tions. Hari^chandra is subjected to the peculiar degra- 
dation of having to burn dead bodies in a cemetery. 
Chandravatf and her son are subjected to cruelties. 
The boy is one day sent to the forest, is bitten by a 
snake, and dies. Chandravatf goes out in the night to 

1 Siva ; the * lord of the world,' and of wealth. Cf. Pluto, Dis, Dives. 


find the body. She repairs with it to the cemetery. In 
the darkness she does not recognise her husband, the 
burner of the bodies, nor he his wife. He has strictly 
promised his master that every fee shall be paid, and 
reproaches the woman for coming in the darkness to avoid 
payment Chandravatf offers in payment a sacred chain 
which Siva had thrown round her neck at birth, invisible 
to all but a perfect man. Hari^chandra alone has ever 
seen it, and now recognises his wife. But even now he 
will not perform the last rites over his dead child unless 
the fee can be obtained as promised. Chandravatf goes 
out into the city to beg the money, leaving Hari^chandra 
seated beside the dead body of Devardta. In the street 
she stumbles over the corpse of another child, and takes 
it up ; it proves to be the infant Prince, who has been 
murdered. Chandravatf — arrested and dragged before the 
king — in a state of frenzy declares she has killed the child. 
She is condemned to death, and her husband must be her 
executioner. But the last scene must be quoted nearly 
in full. 

Verakvoo (Hariichandrd s master ^ hading on Chandra- 
vati). Slave ! this woman has been sentenced by our king 
to be executed without delay. Draw your sword and cut 
her head off. {Exit.) 

HariSchandra. I obey, master. {Draws the sword 
and approaches her.) 

Chandra V ATI {coming to consciousness again). My hus- 
band I What ! do I see thee again ? I applaud thy 
resolution, my lord. Yes ; let me die by thy sword. Be 
not unnerved, but be prompt, and perform thy duty un- 

Harischandra. My beloved wife! the days allotted 
to you in this world are numbered ; you have run through 


the span of your existence. Convicted as you are of this 
crime, there is no hope for your life ; I must presently 
fulfil my instructions. I can only allow you a few seconds; 
pray to your tutelary deities, prepare yourself to meet 
your doom. 

ViSWAMlTRA {^ho has suddenly appeared). Hari^chan- 
dra I what, are you going to slaughter this poor woman ? 
Wicked man, spare her! Tell a lie even now and be 
restored to your former state ! 

Harischandra. I pray, my lord, attempt not to be- 
guile me from the path of rectitude. Nothing shall shake 
my resolution; even though thou didst offer to me the 
throne of Indra I would not tell a lie. Pollute not thy 
sacred person by entering such unholy grounds. De- 
part ! I dread not thy wrath ; I no longer court thy favour. 
Depart. (ViswXmitra disappears^) 

My love ! lo I am thy executioner ; come, lay thy head 
gently on this block with thy sweet face turned towards 
the east. Chandravatf, my wife, be firm, be happy ! The 
last moment of our sufferings has at length come ; for to 
sufferings too there is happily an end. Here cease our 
woes, our griefs, our pleasures. Mark! yet awhile, and 
thou wilt be as free as the vultures that now soar in the 

This keen sabre will do its duty. Thou dead, thy hus- 
band dies too— this self-same sword shall pierce my breast. 
First the child — then the wife — last the husband — all 
victims of a sage's wrath. I the martyr of Truth — thou 
and thy son martyrs for me, the martyr of Truth. Yes ; 
let us die cheerfully and bear our ills meekly. Yes ; let 
all men perish, let all gods cease to exist, let the stars that 
shine above grow dim, let all seas be dried up, let all 
mountains be levelled to the ground, let wars rage, blood 
flow in streams, let millions of millions of Hari^chandras be 


thus persecuted ; yet let Truth be maintained — let Truth 
ride victorious over all — ^let Truth be the light — Truth the 
guide — Truth alone the lasting solace of mortals and im- 
mortals. Die, then, O goddess of Chastity ! Die, at this 
the shrine of thy sister goddess of Truth ! 

\Strikes the neck ^t/" ChandravatI with great force ; the 
swordy instead of harming her, is transformed into a string 
of superb pearlSj which winds itself around her : the gods 
of heaven, all sages, and all kings appear suddenly to the 
mew of Hari^chandra.] 

Siva {the first of the gods), Harifichandra, be ever 
blessed ! You have borne your severe trials most heroi- 
cally, and have proved to all men that virtue is of greater 
worth than all the vanities of a fleeting world. Be you 
the model of mortals. Return to your land, resume your 
authority, and rule your state. Devarita, victim of Vts- 
wdmitra's wrath, rise 1 {He is restored to life.) 

Rise you, also, son of the King of Kasi, with whose 
murder you, Chandravatf, were charged through the 
machinations of Viswdmitra. {He comes to life also.) 

Hari^CHANDRA. All my misfortunes are of little con- 
sequence, since thou, O God of gods, hast deigned to 
favour me with thy divine presence. No longer care I 
for kingdom, or power, or glory. I value not children, or 
wives, or relations. To thy service, to thy worship, to the 
redemption of my erring soul, I devote myself uninter- 
ruptedly hereafter. Let me not become the sport of men. 
The slave of a Pariah cannot become a king ; the slave- 
girl of a Brdhman cannot become a queen. When once 
the milk has been drawn from the udder of a cow nothing 
can restore the self-same milk to it. Our degradation, O 
God, is now beyond redemption. 

ViswXmitra. I pray, O Siva, that thou wouldst par- 
don my folly. Anxious to gain the wager laid by me 


before the gods, I have most mercilessly tormented this 
virtuous king; yet he has proved himself the most truthful 
of all earthly sovereigns, triumphing victoriously over me 
and my efforts to divert him from his constancy. Hari^- 
chandra, king of kings ! I crave your forgiveness. 

Verakvoo {throwing off his disguise). King Haril- 
chandra, think not that I am a Pariah, for you behold in 
me even YAma, the God of Death. 

Kalakanda {ChandravatV s cruel mastery throwing off 
his disguise). Queen ! rest not in the belief that you were 
the slave of a Brdhman. He to whom you devoted your- 
self am even I — the God of Fire, Agni. 

Vasishtha. Hariiichandra, no disgrace attaches to thee 
nor to the Solar race, of which thou art the incomparable 
gem. Even this cemetery is in reality no cemetery : see ! 
the illusion lasts not, and thou beholdest here a holy grove 
the abode of hermits and ascetics. Like the gold which 
has passed through successive crucibles, devoid of all 
impurities, thou, O King of Ayidiah, shinest in greater 
splendour than even yon god of light now rising to our 
view on the orient hills. (// is morning^ 

Siva. Hari^chandra, let not the world learn that Virtue 
is vanquished, and that its enemy, Vice, has become the 
victor. Go, mount yon throne again — proclaim to all that 
we, the gods, are the guardians of the good and the true. 
Indra ! chief of the gods, accompany this sovereign with 
all your retinue, and recrown him emperor of Ay6diah. 
May his reign be long — may all bliss await him in the 
other world ! 

The plot of this drama has probably done as much and 
as various duty as any in the world. It has spread like 
a spiritual banyan, whose branches, taking root, have 
swelled to such- size that it is difficult now to say which 


IS the original trunk. It may even be that the only root 
thev all had in common is an invisible one in the human 
heart, developed in its necessary struggles amid nature 
after the pure and perfect life. 

But neither in the Book of Job, which we are yet to 
consider, nor in any other variation of the theme, does it 
rise so high as in this drama of Hari^chandra. In Job it 
represents man loyal to his deity amid the terrible afflic- 
tions which that deity permits; but in Hari^chandra it 
shows man loyal to a moral principle even against divine 
orders to the contrary. Despite the hand of the licenser, 
and the priestly manipulations, visible here and there in 
it — especially towards the close — ^sacerdotalism stands con- 
fronted by its reaction at last, and receives its sentence in 
the joy with which the Hindu sees the potent Rishis with 
all their pretentious 'merits/ and the gods themselves, 
kneeling at the feet of the man who stands by Truth. 

It is amusing to find the wincings of the priests through 
many centuries embodied in a legend about HariiSchandra 
after he went to heaven. It is related that he was induced 
by NArada to relate his actions with such unbecoming 
pride that he was lowered from Svarga (heaven) one stage 
after each sentence ; but having stopped in time, and paid 
homage to the gods, he was placed with his capital in 
mid-air, where eyes sacerdotally actinised may still see 
the aerial city at certain times. The doctrine of * merits * 
will no doubt be able for some time yet to charge * good 
deeds' with their own sin — pride ; but, after all, the priest 
must follow the people far enough to confess that one 
must look upward to find the martyr of Truth. In what 
direction one must look to find his accuser requires no 
further intimation than the popular legend of Viswdmitra. 

( 46 ) 



Deified power — Giants and Jehovah — Jehovah's manifesto — The 
various Elohim — Two Jehovahs and two Tables — Contradictions 
— Detachment of the Elohim from Jehovah. 

The sacred books of the Hebrews bring us into the pre- 
sence of the gods (Elohim) supposed to have created all 
things out of nothing — nature-gods — just as they are in 
transition to the conception of a single Will and Per- 
sonality. Though the plural is used (* gods ') a singular 
verb follows : the tendency is already to that concentra- 
tion which resulted in the enthronement of one supreme 
sovereign — Jehovah. The long process of evolution which 
must have preceded this conception is but slightly trace- 
able in the Bible. It is, however, written on the face 
of the whole world, and the same process is going on 
now in its every phase. Whether with Gesenius^ we 
take the sense of the word Elohim to be 'the revered/ 
or, with Fiirst,* 'the mighty,' makes little difference; 
the fact remains that the word is applied elsewhere 
to gods in general, including such as were afterwards 
deemed false gods by the Jews ; and it is more im- 
portant still that the actions ascribed to the Elohim, who 
created the heavens and the earth, generally reflect the 
powerful and un -moral forces of nature. The work of 

* Thes. Heb., p. 94. ' Heb. Handw., p. 90. 


creation in Genesis (i. and ii. 1-3) is that of giants without 
any moral quality whatever. Whether or not we take in 
their obvious sense the words, ' Elohim created man in his 
own image, . . . male and female created he them/ there 
can be no question of the meaning of Gen. vi. i, 2 : *The 
sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men that they were 
beautiful, and they took to themselves for wives whom- 
soever they chose.' When good and evil come to be 
spoken of, the name Jehovah^ at once appears. The 
Klohim appear again in the Flood, the wind that assuaged 
it, the injunction to be fruitful and multiply, the cloud 
and rainbow ; and gradually the germs of a moral govern- 
ment begin to appear in their assigning the violence of 
mankind as reason for the deluge, and in the covenant 
with Noah. But even after the name Jehovah had gene- 
rally blended with, or even superseded, the other, we find 
Elohim often used where strength and wonder-working 
are thought of — ^.^., * Thou art the god that doest wonders ' 
(Ps. Ixxvii.). * Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the 
great waters, and thy footsteps are not known,' 

Against the primitive nature-deities the personality and 
jealous supremacy of Jehovah was defined. The golden 
calf built by Aaron was called Elohim (plural, though 
there was but one calf). Solomon was denounced 
for building altars to the same; and when Jeroboam 
built altars to two calves, they are still so called. Other 
rivals — Dagon Qudges xvi.), Astaroth, Chemosh, Milcom 
(i Kings xi.) — are called by the once-honoured name. 
The English Bible translates Elohim, God ; Jehovah, the 
Lord ; Jehovah Elohim, the LoRD God ; and the critical 
reader will find much that is significant in the varied use 
of these names. Thus (Gen. xxii.) it is Elohim that 

^ Or Jahveh. I prefer to use the best known term in a case where the 
more exact spelling adds no significance. 


demands the sacrifice of Isaac, Jehovah that interferes to 
save him. At the same time, in editing the story, it is 
plainly felt to be inadmissible that Abraham should 
be supposed loyal to any other god than Jehovah; so 
Jehovah adopts the sacrifice as meant for himself, and the 
place where the ram was provided in place of Isaac is 
called Jehovah-Jireh. However, when we can no longer 
distinguish the two antagonistic conceptions by different 
names their actual incongruity is even more salient, and, as 
we shall see, develops a surprising result. 

Jehovah inaugurates his reign by a manifesto against 
these giants, the Elohim, for whom the special claim — 
clamorously asserted when Aaron built the Golden Calf, 
and continued as the plea for the same deity — was that 
tJiey (Elohim) had brought Israel out of Egypt. * I,' cries 
Jehovah, * am the Lord thy Grod, which have brought thee 
out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage : 
thou shalt have no other gods but me ; * and the first four 
commandments of the law are devoted entirely to a de- 
claration of his majesty, his power (claiming credit for the 
creation), his jealous determination to punish his opponents 
and reward his friends, to vindicate the slightest disrespect 
to his name. The narrative of the Golden Calf was plainly 
connected with Sinai in order to illustrate the fir;st com- 
mandment. The punishment of the believers in another 
divine emancipator, even though they had not yet received 
the proclamation, must be signal. Jehovah is so enraged 
that by his order human victims are offered up to the 
number of three thousand, and even after that, it is said, 
Jehovah plagued Israel on account of their Elohim- worship. 
In the same direction is the command to keep holy the 
Sabbath day, because on it he rested from the work of 
creation (Gen. xx.), or because on that day he delivered 
Israel from Egypt (Deut. v.), the editors do not seem to 


remember exactly which, but it is well enough to say both, 
for it is taking the two picked laurels from the brow of 
Elohim and laying them on that of Jehovah. In all of 
which it is observable that there is no moral quality what- 
ever. Nero might equally command the Romans to have 
no other gods before himself, to speak his name with awe, 
to rest when he stopped working. In the fifth command- 
ment, arbitrarily ascribed to the First Table, we have a 
transition to the moral code ; though even there the honour 
of parents is jealously associated with Jehovah's greatness 
('that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah 
Elohim giveth thee '). The nature-gods were equal' to 
that; for the Elohim had begotten the giants who were 

* in the earth in those days.' 

^ Elohim spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am 
Jehovah ; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and 
unto Jacob by (the name of) God Almighty (El-Shaddat), 
but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them* 
(Exod. vi. 2, 3). 

The ancient gods — the Elohim — were, in the process of 
absorption into the one great form, the repository of their 
several powers, distinguishable ; and though, for the most 
part, they bear names related to the forces of nature, now 
and then they reflect the tendencies to humanisation. 
Thus we have ' the most high god ' (El-elyon — e.g,^ Gen. 
xiv. 18); *the everlasting god* {El-elitn, Gen. xxi. 33); 

* the jealous god ' {El-kana, Exod. xx. 5) ; * the mighty 
god, and terrible' {El-gadol and noray Deut vii. 21) ; 'the 
living god ' {El-chi, Josh. iii. 10) ; * the god of heaven ' {El- 
slumim^ Ps. cxxxvi. 26) ; the * god almighty ' {El-shaddai} 
Exod. vi. 2). These Elohim, with each of whose names I 
have referred to an instance of its characteristic use, became 

^ This, the grandest of all the elohistic names, became the nearest Hebrew 
word for devils — shedim, 



epithets, as the powers they represented were more and 
more absorbed by the growing personality of Jehovah; 
but these epithets were also characters, and their historic 
expressions had also to undergo a process of slow and 
difficult digestion. The all-devouring grandeur of Jehovah 
showed what it had fed on. Not only all the honours, 
but many of the dishonours, of the primitive deities ad- 
hered to the sovereign whose rule was no doubt inaugurated 
by their disgrace and their barbarism. The costliness of 
the glory of divine absolutism is again illustrated in the 
evolution of the premature monotheism, which had for its 
figure-head the dread Jehovah, who, as heir of the nature- 
gods, became responsible for the monstrosities of a tribal 
demonolatry, thus being compelled to fill simultaneously 
the rdles of the demon and the lawgiver.^ 

The two tables of the law — one written by Jehovistic 
theology, the other by the moral sense of mankind- 
ascribed to this dual deity, for whom unity was so fiercely 
insisted on, may be read in their outcome throughout the 
Bible. They are here briefly, in a few examples, set forth 
side by side. 

Table of Jehovah I. Table of Jehovah 1 1. 

Exod. xxxiii. 27. 'Slay every Exod. xx. 13. * Thou shalt not 
man his brother, every man his kilL* 
companion, and every man his 

Num. XV. 32. 'While the children 
of Israel were in the wilderness, 
they found a man that gathered 
sticks upon the Sabbath Day. . . . 
And they put him in ward, be- 
cause it was not declared what 
should be done to him. And the 

1 Even his jealous command against rivals, U, 'graven images,* had to he 
taken along with the story of Laban's images (Gen. xaxi.), when, though * God 
came to Laban,' the idolatry was not rebuked. 



TABLE OF Jehovah L— 

Lord said unto Moses, The man 
shall be surely put to death : all 
the coDgregation shall stone him 
with stones without the camp/ 
Neither this nor the similar pun- 
ishment for blasphemy (Lev. 
xxiv.), were executions of existing 
law. For a fearful instance of 
murder inflicted on the innocent, 
and accepted as a human sacri- 
fice by Jehovah, see 2 Sam. xxi. ; 
and for the brutal murder of 
Shimei, who denounced and re- 
sented the crime which hung the 
seven sons of Saul ' before the 
Lord/ see i Kings iL But the 
examples are many. 

In the story of Abraham, Sarai, 
and Hagar (Gen. xvi.). Lot and 
his daughters (xix.), Abraham's 
presentation of his wife to Abimi- 
lech (xx.), the same done by Isaac 
(xxvi), Judah, Tamar (xxxviii.), 
and other cases where the grossest 
violations of the seventh com- 
mandment go unrebuked by 
Jehovah, while in constant com- 
munication with the guilty parties, 
we see how little the second table 
was supported by the first. 

The extortions, frauds, and 
thefts of Jacob (Gen. xxv., xxvii., 
XXX.), which brought upon him the 
unparalleled blessings of Jehovah ; 
the plundering of Nabal's pro- 
perty by David and his fellow- 
bandits ; the smiting of the robbed 
farmer by Jehovah and the taking 
of his treacherous wife by David 
(i Sam,. XXV.), are narratives be- 
fitting a Bible of footpads. 

Table op Jehovah II.- 

Exod. XX. 14. * Thou shalt not 
commit adultery.' 

Exod. XX. 15. < Thou shalt not 



Table of Jehovah L— 

Jehovahsaid, 'Wboshalldeceive 
Ahab? . . . And there came forth a 
spirit, and stood before Jehovah, 
and said, I will deceive him. And 
Jehovah said, Wherewith ? And 
he said, I will go forth and be a 
lying spirit in the mouth of all 
these thy prophets. And he said, 
Thou shalt deceive him, and pre- 
vail also : go forth and do so. 
Now, therefore, Jehovah hath put 
a lying spirit in the mouth of all 
these thy prophets, and Jehovah 
hath spoken evil concerning thee' 
(i Kings xxii.). See Ezek. xx. 25. 
Deut XX. 10-18, is a complete 
instruction for invasion, murder, 
rapine, eating the spoil of the in- 
vaded, taking their wives, their 
cattle, &C., all such as might have 
been proclaimed by a Supreme 

Table of Jehovah II.— 

Exod. XX. 16. ^ Thou shalt not 
bear false witness against thy 

Exod. xz. 17. * Thou shalt not 
covet thy neighbour's house, thou 
shalt not covet thy neighbour's 
wife, nor his man-servant, nor his 
maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his 
ass, nor anything that is thy 

Instances of this discrepancy might, be largely multi- 
plied. Any one who cares to pursue the subject can trace 
the building upon the powerful personal Jehovah of a 
religion of human sacrifices, anathemas, and priestly 
despotism ; while around the moral ruler and judge of 
the same name, whose personality is more and more dis- 
persed in pantheistic ascriptions, there grows the common 
law, and then the more moral law of equity, and the cor- 
responding sentiments which gradually- evolve the idea of 
a parental deity. 

It is obvious that the more this second idea of the deity 
prevails, the more he is regarded as 'merciful,' 'long- 
suffering,' * a God of truth and without iniquity, just and 
right,' ' delighting not in sacrifice but mercifulness/ ' good 


to all/ and whose ' tender mercies are over all his works/ 
and having * no pleasure in the death of him that dieth ;' 
the less will it be possible to see in the very same being 
the * man of war/ ' god of battles/ the 'jealous/ * angry/ 
* fire-breathing ' one, who 'visits the sins of the fathers 
upon the children/ who laughs at the calamities of men and 
mocks when their fear cometh. It is a structural neces- 
sity of the human mind that these two shall be gradually 
detached the one from the other. From one of the 
Jehovahs represented in parallel columns came the ' Father * 
whom Christ adored : from the other came the Devil he 

( 54 ) 



The Shekinah^ewish idols — Attributes of the fiery and cruel Elohim 
compared with those of the Devil — The powers of evil combined 
under a head — Continuity — The consuming fire spiritualised. 

That Abraham was a Fire-worshipper might be sus- 
pected from the immemorial efforts of all Semitic autho- 
rities to relieve him of traditional connection with that 
particular idolatry. When the good and evil powers were 
being distinguished, we find the burning and the bright 
aspects of Fire severally regarded. The sign of Jehovah's 
covenant with Abram included both. 'It came to pass 
that when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a 
smoking furnace and a burning lamp that passed between 
those pieces * (of the sacrifice). In the legend of Moses 
we have the glory resting on Sinai and the burning bush, 
the bush which, it is specially remarked, was * not con- 
sumed,* an exceptional circumstance in honour of Moses. 
To these corresponded the Urim and Thummim, marking 
the priest as source of light and of judgment. In his 
favourable and adorable aspect Jehovah was the Bright- 
ness of Fire. This was the Shekinah. In the Targum, 
Jonathan Ben Uzziel to the Prophets, it is said: *The 
mountains trembled before the Lord; the mountains 
Tabor, Hermon, Carmel said one to the other: Upon me 
the Shekinah will rest, and to me will it come. But the 


Shekinah rested upon Mount Sinai, weakest and smallest 
of all the mountains. This Sinai trembled and shook, 
and its smoke went up as the smoke of an oven, because 
of the glory of the God of Israel which' had manifested 
itself upon it/ The Brightness^ passed on to illumine 
every event associated with the divine presence in Semitic 
mythology ; it was * the glory of the Lord ' shining from 
the Star of Bethlehem, and the figure of the Trans- 

The Consuming Fire also had its development Among 
the spiritual it was spiritualised. ' Who among us shall 
dwell with the Devouring Fire ? ' cries Isaiah. * Who 
among us shall dwell with the Everlasting Burnings ? He 
that walketh righteously and speaketh uprightly ; he that 
despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands 
from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing 
of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil/ It was 
by a prosaic route that the Devouring Fire became the 
residence of the wicked. 

After Jeroboam (i Kings xiii.) had built altars to the 
Elohim, under form of Calves, a prophet came out of 
Judah to denounce the idolatry. * And he cried against 
the altar in the word of Jehovah, and said, O altar, altar I 
thus saith Jehovah, Behold, a child shall be born unto the 
house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall 
he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense 
upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee/ It 
was deemed so important that this prophecy should be 
fulfilled in the letter, when it could no longer be fulfilled 
in reality, that some centuries later Josiah dug up the 

^ It is not certain, indeed, whether this Brightness may not have been 
separately personified in the ' Eduth ' (translated ' testimony ' in the English 
version, Exod. xtL 34), before which the pot of manna was laid. The word 
means 'brightness,' and Dr. Willis supposes it may be connected with Adod, 
the Phoenician Sun-god (Pentateuch, p. i86). 


bones of the Elohistic priests and burned them upon their 
long-ruined altars (2 Kings xxiii.). 

The incident is significant, both on account of the pro- 
phet's personification of the altar, and the institution of a 
sort of Gehenna in connection with it The personifica- 
tion and the Gehenna became much more complete as 
time went on. The Jews originally had no Devil, as 
indeed had no races at first; and this for the obvious 
reason that their so-called gods were quite equal to any 
moral evils that were to be accounted for, as we have 
already seen they were adequate to explain all physical 
evils. But the antagonists of the moral Jehovah were 
recognised and personified with increasing clearness, and 
were quite prepared for connection with any General 
who might be theoretically proposed for their leadership. 
When the Jews came under the influence of Persian 
theology the archfiend was elected, and all the Elohim — 
Moloch, Dagon^ Astarte, Chemosh, and the rest — ^took 
their place under his rebellious ensign. 

The descriptions of the Devil in the Bible are mainly 
borrowed from the early descriptions of the Elohim, and 
of Jehovah in his Elohistic character.* In the subjoined 
parallels I follow the received English version. 

Gen. xxii. i. 'God tempted Matt, i v. i. < Then was Jesus led 
Abraham.' up into the wilderness to be 

tempted of the devil' See also 

I Cor. vii. 5, I Thes. iiL 5, James 

i. 13. 

Exod V 3. * I (Jehovah) will John xiii. 2. * The devil having; 

harden Phanioh's heart;' v. 13, now put into the heart of Judas Is- 

*He hardened Pharaoh's heart.' cariot, Simon's son, to betray hinu 

^ It is important not to confuse Satan with the Devil, so far as the Bible is 
concerned. Satan, as will be seen when we come to the special treatment o( 
him required, is by no means invariably diabolical. In the Book of Job^ for 
example, he appears in a character far removed from hostility to Jehovah or 



I Kings xxii. 23. ' Behold the 
Lord hath put a lying spirit in 
the mouth of all these thy pro- 
phets, and the Lord hath spoken 
evil concerning them.' £zek. xiv. 
9. 'If the prophet be deceived 
when he hath spoken a thing, I 
the Lord have deceived that pro- 
phet, and I will stretch out my 
hand upon him, and will destroy 
him from the midst of my people/ 

Isa. xlv. 7. ' I make peace and 
create evil. I the Lord do all 
these things.' Amos iiL 6. ' Shall 
there be evil in a city and the 
Lord hath not done it ? ' i Sam. 
xvL I4« 'An evil spirit from the 
Lord troubled him' (Saul). 

Exod. xil 29. ' At midnight the 
Lord smote all the firstborn of 
Egypt' Ver. 30. 'There was a 
great cry in Egypt; for there 
was not a house where there 
was not one dead.' Exod. xxxiiL 
27. ' Thus saith the Lord God of 
Israel, Put every man his sword 
by his side, and go in and out 
from gate to gate throughout the 
camp, and slay every man his 
brother, and every man his com- 
panion, and every man his neigh- 

Exod. vL 9. ' Take thy rod and 
cast it before Pharaoh and it 
shall become a serpent' Ver. 12. 
' Aaron's rod swallowed up their 
rods.' Num. xxi. 6. 'Jehovah sent 
fiery serpents (Seraphim) among 
the people.' Ver. 8. 'And the Lord 
said unto Moses, Make thee a 
fiery serpent, and set it upon a 
pole : and it shall come to pass, 
that every one that is bitten, when 

John viii. 44. * He (the devil) is 
a liar' (' and so is his father,* con- 
tinues the sentence, by right of 
translation), i Tim. iii. 2, ' slan- 
derers' (diabolous). 2 Tim. iiL 3, 
' false accusers ' (diaboloi). Also 
Titus ii. 3, Von Tischendorf trans- 
lates ' calumniators.' 

Matt. xiii. 38. 'The tares are 
the children of the wicked one.' 
I John iii. 8. ' He that committeth 
sin is of the devil ; for the devil 
sinneth from the beginning.' 

John viii. 44. 'He (the devil) 
was a murderer from the begin- 

Rev. xii. 7, &c. * There was war 
in heaven : Michael and his angels 
fought against the dragon. . . • 
And the great dragon was cast 
out, that old serpent, called the 
Devi], and Satan, which deceiveth 
the whole world. . • . Woe to 
the inhabiters of the earth and 
of the sea I for the devil has come 
down to you, having great wrath.' 



he looketh upon it, shall live.' 
(This serpent was worshipped 
until destroyed by Hezekiah, 
2 Kings xviii.) Compare Jer. 
^iii. 17, Ps. cxlviii., * Praise ye the 
Lord from the earth, ye dragons.' 
Gen. xix. 24. * The Lord rained 
upon Sodom and Gomorrah 
brimstone and fire from the Lord 
out of heaven.' Deut iv. 24. * The 
Lord thy God is a consuming fire.' 
Ps. xi. 6. * Upon the wicked he 
shall rain snares, fire and brim- 
stone.* Ps. xviii. 8. * There went 
up a smoke out of his nostrils.' 
Ps. xcvii. 3. * A fire goeth before 
him, and bumeth up his enemies 
round about.' Ezek. xxxviii. 19, 
&c. ' For in my jealousy, and in 
the fire of my wrath, have I 
spoken. ... I will plead against 
him with pestilence and with 
blood, and I will rain upon him 
. . . fire and brimstone.' Isa. 
XXX. 33. * Tophet is ordained of 
old ; yea, for the king is it pre- 
pared : he hath made it deep 
and wide ; the pile thereof is fire 
and much wood ; the breath of 
the Lord, like a stream of brim- 
stone, doth kindle it.' 

In addition to the above passages may be cited a notable 
passage from Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians (11. 3). 
* Let no man deceive you by any means : for that day (of 
Christ) shall not come, except there come a falling away 
first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition ; 
who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called 
God, or that is worshipped ; so that he, as God, sitteth 
in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 
Remember ye not that, when I was yet with you, I told you 

Matt. xxv. 41. * Depart from me^ 
ye cursed, into everlasting fire, 
prepared for the devil and his 
angels.' Mark ix. 44. * Where their 
worm dieth not, and the fire is 
not quenched.' Rev. xx. la * And 
the devil that deceiveth them was 
cast into the lake of fire and 
brimstone.' In Rev» ix. Abaddon, 
or Apollyon, is represented as the 
king of the scorpion tormentors ; 
and the diabolical horses, with 
stinging serpent tails, are de- 
scribed as killing with the smoke 
and brimstone issuing from their 


these things ? And now ye know what withholdeth that 
he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of 
iniquity doth already work : only he who now letteth will 
let, until he be taken out of the way : and then shall that 
Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with 
the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the bright- 
ness of his coming : even him whose coming i$ after the 
working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying 
wonders, and with all the deceivableness of unrighteous- 
ness in them that perish ; because they received not the 
love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this 
cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should 
believe a lie ; that they all might be damned who believed 
not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.' 

This remarkable utterance shows how potent was the 
survival in the mind of Paul of the old Elohist belief. 
Although the ancient deity, who deceived prophets to 
their destruction, and sent forth lying spirits with their 
strong delusions, was dethroned and outlawed, he was 
still a powerful claimant of empire, haunting the temple, 
and setting himself up therein as God. He will be consumed 
by Christ's breath when the day of triumph comes ; but 
iheanwhile he is not only allowed great power in the 
earth, but utilised by the true God, who even so far co- 
operates with the false as to send on some men ' strong 
delusions' (* a working of error,* Von Tischendorf translates), 
in order that they may believe the lie and be damned. Paul 
speaks of the * mystery of iniquity;' but it is not so very 
mysterious when we consider the antecedents of his idea. 
The dark problem of the origin of evil, and its continuance 
in the universe under the rule of a moral governor, still threw 
its impenetrable shadow across the human mind. It was 
a terrible reality, visible in the indifference or hostility 
with which the new gospel was met on the part of the 


cultured and powerful; and it could only then be ex- 
plained as a mysterious provisional arrangement connected 
with some divine purpose far away in the depths of the 
universe. But the passage quoted from Thessalonians 
shows plainly that all those early traditions about the 
divinely deceived prophets and lying spirits, sent forth 
from Jehovah Elohim, had finally, in Paul's time, become 
marshalled under a leader, a personal Man of Sin; but 
this leader, while opposing Christ's kingdom, is in some 
mysterious way a commissioner of God. 

We may remark here the beautiful continuity by which, 
through all these shadows of terror and vapours of specu- 
lation, ' clouding the glow of heaven,' ^ the unquenchable 
ideal from first to last is steadily ascending. 

* One or three things,' says the Talmud, ' were before 
this world — Water, Fire, and Wind. Water begat the 
Darkness, Fire begat Light, and Wind begat the Spirit 
of Wisdom.' This had become the rationalistic transla- 
tion by a crude science of the primitive demons, once 
believed to have created the heavens and the earth. In the 
process we find the forces outlawed in their wild action, 
but becoming the choir of God in their quiet action : — 

I Kings xix. 11-13. 'And he said, Go forth, and stand 
upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord 
passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the rnoun* 
tains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord ; 
but the Lord was not in the wind : and after the wind an 
earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 
and after the earthquake a fire ; but the Lord was not in 
the fire : and after the fire a still small voice. And it was 
so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his 

* Name ist Schall und Rauch, i 

Umnebelnd Himmelsgluth.— Goethb. ' 


But man must have a philosophical as well as a moral 
development : the human mind could not long endure this 
elemental anarchy. It asked, If the Lord be not in the 
hurricane, the earthquake, the volcanic flame, who is 
therein ? This is the answer of the Targum : ^ 

* And he said. Arise and stand on the mountain before 
the Lord. And God revealed himself : and before him a 
host of angels of the wind, cleaving the mountain and 
breaking the rocks before the Lord ; but not in the host 
of angels was the Shechinah. And after the host of 
the angels of the wind came a host of angels of com- 
motion ; but not in the host of the angels of commotion 
was the Shechinah of the Lord. And after the angels of 
commotion came a host of angels of fire ; but not in the 
host of angels of fire was the Shechinah of the Lord. 
But after the host of the angels of the fire came voices 
singing in silence. And it was when Elijah heard this he 
hid his face in his mantle/ 

The moral sentiment takes another step in advance 
with the unknown but artistic writer of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews. Moses had described God as a ' consuming 
fire ; * and * the sight of the glory of the Lord was like 
devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the 
children of Israel' (Exod. xxiv. 17). When next we meet 
this phrase it is with this writer, who seeks to supersede 
what Moses (traditionally) built up. 'Whose voice,' he 
says, * then shook the earth ; but now he hath promised, 
saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but 
also heaven. And this word, * yet once more,' signifieth 
the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things 
that are made, that those which cannot be shaken may 
remain. , . , For our God is a consuming Are.' 

1 ' Targum to the Prophets,' Jonathan Ben UzzieL See Deutsch's ' Literary 
Remains,' p. 379. 


' Our God also I ' cries each great revolution that ad- 
vances. His consuming wrath is not now directed against 
man, but the errors which are man's only enemies: the 
lightnings of the new Sinai, while they enlighten the earth, 
smite the old heaven of human faith and imagination, 
shrivelling it like a burnt scroll I 

In this nineteenth century, when the old heaven, amid 
which this fiery pillar glowed, is again shaken, the ancient 
phrase has still its meaning. The Russian Tourgenieff 
represents two friends who had studied together in early 
life, then parted, accidentally meeting once more for a 
single night They compare notes as to what the long 
intervening years have taught them ; and one sums his 
experience in the words — * I have burned what I used to 
worship, and worship what I used to burn.' The novelist 
artfully reproduces for this age a sentence associated with 
a crisis in the religious history of Europe. Clovis, King of 
the Franks, invoked the God of his wife Clotilda to aid 
him against the Germans, vowing to become a christian if 
successful ; and when, after his victory, he was baptized 
at Rheims, St. Remy said to him — ' Bow thy head meekly, 
Sicambrian ; burn what thou hast worshipped, and worship 
what thou hast burned 1 ' Clovis followed the Bishop's 
advice in literal fashion, carrying fire and sword amid his 
old friends the ' Pagans ' right zealously. But the era has 
come in which that which Clovis' sword and St Remy's 
theology set up for worship is being consumed in its turn. 
Tourgenieff 's youths are consuming the altar on which 
their forerunners were consumed. And in this rekindled 
flame the world now sees shrivelling the heavens once 
fresh, but now reflecting the aggregate selfishness of man- 
kind, the hells representing their aggregate cowardice, and 
feeds its nobler faith with this vision of the eternal fire 
which evermore consumes the false and refines the world. 

( 63 ) 



Herakles and Athena in a holy picture-^Human significance of Eden 
— ^The legend in Genesis puzzling — Silence of later books con- 
cerning it — Its Vedic elements— Its explanation — Episode of the 
Mahibhdrata — Scandinavian variant — The name of Adam — ^The 
story re-read — Rabbinical interpretations. 

MONTFAUCON has among his plates one (XX.) represent- 
ing an antique agate which he supposes to represent Zeus 
and Athena, but which probably relates to the myth of 
Herakles and Athena in the garden of Hesperides. The 
hero having penetrated this garden, slays the dragon which 
guards its immortalising fruit, but when he has gathered 
this fruit Athena takes it from him, lest man shall eat it 
and share the immortality of the gods. In this design 
the two stand on either side of the tree, around which a 
serpent is twined from root to branches. The history 
which Montfaucon gives of the agate is of equal interest 
with the design itself. It was found in an old French 
cathedral, where it had long been preserved and shown as 
a holy picture of the Temptation. It would appear also 
to have previously deceived some rabbins, for on the border 
is written in Hebrew characters, much more modern than 
the central figures, *The woman saw that the tree was 
good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a 
tree to be desired to make one wise.' 

This mystification about a design, concerning whose 


origin and design there is now no doubt, is significant. 
The fable of Paradise and the Serpent is itself more diffi- 
cult to trace, so many have been the races and religions 
which have framed it with their holy texts and preserved 
it in their sacred precincts. In its essence, no doubt, the 
story grows from a universal experience ; in that aspect it 
is a mystical rose that speaks all languages. When man 
first appears his counterpart is a garden. The moral 
nature means order. The wild forces of nature — ^the 
Elohim — build no fence, forbid no fruit. They say to 
man as the supreme animal. Subdue the earth ; every 
tree and herb shall be your meat; every animal your 
slave; be fruitful and multiply. But from the conflict 
the more real man emerges, and his sign is a garden 
hedged in from the wilderness, and a separation between 
good and evil. 

The form in which the legend appears in the Book of 
Genesis presents one side in which it is simple and 
natural. This has already been suggested (vol. i. p. 330), 
But the legend of man defending his refuge from wild 
beasts against the most subtle of them is here overlaid by 
a myth in which it plays the least part. The mind which 
reads it by such light as may be obtained only from 
biblical sources can hardly fail to be newly puzzled at 
every step. So much, indeed, is confessed in the endless 
and diverse theological theories which the story has 
elicited. What is the meaning of the curse on the 
Serpent that it should for ever crawl thereafter ? Had 
it not crawled previously.^ Why was the Tree of the 
knowledge of Good and Evil forbidden } Why, when its 
fruit was tasted, should the Tree of Life have been for the 
first time forbidden and jealously guarded ? These riddles 
are nowhere solved in the Bible, and have been left to the 
fanciful inventions of theologians and the ingenuity of 


rabbins. Dr. Adam Clarke thought the Serpent was an 
ape before his sin, and many rabbins concluded he was 
camel-shaped ; but the remaining enigmas have been 
fairly given up. 

The ancient Jews, they who wrote and compiled the 
Old Testament, more candid than their modern de- 
scendants and our omniscient christians, silently confessed 
their inability to make anything out of this snake-story. 
From the third chapter of Genesis to the last verse of 
Malachi the story is not once alluded to ! Such a pheno- 
menon would have been impossible had this legend been 
indigenous with the Hebrew race. It was clearly as a 
boulder among them which had floated from regions little 
known to their earlier writers ; after lying naked through 
many ages, it became overgrown with rabbinical lichen and 
moss, and, at the christian era, while it seemed part of 
the Hebrew landscape, it was exceptional enough to 
receive special reverence as a holy stone. That it was 
made the corner-stone of christian theology may be to 
some extent explained by the principle of omne ignotum 
pro mirifico. But the boulder itself can only be explained 
by tracing it to the mythologic formation from which it 

How would a Pars! explain the curse on a snake which 
condemned it to crawl } He would easily give us evidence 
that at the time when most of those Hebrew Scriptures 
were written, without allusion to such a Serpent, the 
ancient Persians believed that Ahriman had tempted the 
first man and woman through his evil mediator, his an- 
ointed son, Ash-Mogh, * the two-footed Serpent.' 

But let us pass beyond the Persian legend, cafrying 
that and the biblical story together, for submission to the 
criticism of a Brdhman. He will tell us that this Ash- 
Mogh of the Parsi is merely the ancient A^shma-da^va 


of the Avesta, which in turn is Ahi, the great Vedic 
Serpent-monster whom Indra * prostrated beneath the 
feet' of the stream he had obstructed — every stream 
having its deity. He would remind us that the Vedas 
describe the earliest dragon-slayer, Indra, as * crushing 
the head ' of his enemy, and that this figure of the god 
with his heel on a Serpent's head has been familiar to his 
race from time immemorial. And he would then tell 
us to read the Rig- Veda, v. 32, and the Mahdbhirata, 
and wc would find all the elements of the story told in 

In the hymn referred to we find a graphic account of 
how, when Ahi was sleeping on the waters he obstructed, 
Indra hurled at him his thunderbolt. It says that when 
Indra had 'annihilated the weapon of that mighty beast 
from him (Ahi), another, more powerful, conceiving him- 
self one and unmatched, was generated.' This * wrath-born 
son,' ' a walker in darkness,' had managed to get hold of 
the sacred Soma, the plant monopolised by the gods, and 
having drunk this juice, he lay slumbering and envelop- 
ing the world,' and then ' fierce Indra seized upon him,' 
and having previously discovered ' the vital part of him 
who thought himself invulnerable,' struck that incarna- 
tion of many-formed Ahi, and he was ' made the lowest of 
all creatures! 

But one who has perused the philological biography of 
Ahi already given, vol. i. p. 357, will not suppose that this was 
the end of him. We must now consider in further detail 
the great episode of the Mahdbhdrata, to which reference 
has been made in other connections.^ During the Deluge 
the most precious treasure of the gods, the Amrita, the 
ambrosia that rendered them immortal, was lost, and the 
poem relates how the Devas and Asuras, otherwise gods 

1 See pp. 46 and 255, The episode is in Mahdbhireta, 1. 15. 

mahAbhArata episode. 67 

and serpents, together churned the ocean for it. There 
were two great mountains, — Meru the golden and beau- 
tiful, adorned with healing plants, pleasant streams and 
trees, unapproachable by the sinful, guarded by serpents ; 
Mandar, rocky, covered with rank vegetation, infested by 
savage beasts. The first is the abode of the gods, the last of 
demons. To find the submerged Amrita it was necessary 
to uproot Mandar and use it to churn the ocean. This 
was done by calling on the King Serpent Ananta, who 
called in the aid of another great serpent, Vdsuki, the latter 
being used as a rope coiling and uncoiling to whirl the 
mountain. At last the Amrita appeared. But there also 
streamed forth from the ocean bed a terrible stench and 
venom, which was spreading through the universe when 
Siva swallowed it to save mankind, — the drug having 
stained his throat blue, whence his epithet ' Blue Neck.' 

When the Asuras saw the Amrita, they claimed it ; but 
one of the Devas, Narya, assumed the form of a beauti- 
ful woman, and so fascinated them that they forgot the 
Amrita for the moment, which the gods drank. One of 
the Asuras, however, Rdhu, assumed the form of a god 
or Deva, and began to drink. The immortalising nectar 
had not gone farther than his throat when the sun and 
moon saw the deceit and discovered it to Naraya, who cut 
off Rdhu's head. The head of Rdhu, being immortal, 
bounded to the sky, where its efforts to devour the sun and 
moon, which betrayed him, causes their eclipses. The 
tail (Ketu) also enjoys immortality in a lower plane, and 
is the fatal planet which sends diseases on mankind. A 
furious war between the gods and the Asuras has been 
waged ever since. And since the Devas are the strongest, 
it is not wonderful that it should have passed into the 
folklore of the whole Aryan world that the evil host are 
for ever seeking to recover by cunning the Amrita. The 


Serpents guarding the paradise of the Devas have more 
than once, in a mythologic sense, been induced to betray 
their trust and glide into the divine precincts to steal the 
coveted draught This is the Kvdsir^ of the Scandinavian 
Mythology, which is the source of that poetic inspiration 
whose songs have magical potency. The sacramental sym- 
bol of the Amrita in Hindu Theology is the Soma juice, 
and this plant Indra is declared in the Rig- Veda (i. 130) 
to have discovered " hidden, like the nestlings of a bird, 
amidst a pile of rocks enclosed by bushes," where the 
dragon Drought had concealed it. Indra, in the shape 
of a hawk, flew away with it In the Prose Edda the 
Frost Giant Suttung has concealed the sacred juice, and 
it is kept by the maid Gunlauth in a cavern overgrown 
with bushes. Bragi bored a hole through the rock. 
Odin in the shape of a worm crept through the crevice; 
then resuming his godlike shape, charmed the maid into 
•permitting him to drink one dr?iught out of the three 
jars ; and, having left no drop, in form of an eagle flew to 
Asgard, and discharged in the jars the wonder-working 
liquid. Hence poetry is called Odin's booty, and Odin's 


Those who attentively compare these myths with the 
legend in Genesis will not have any need to rest upon the 
doubtful etymology of * Adam ' * to establish the Ayran 

^ Related to the Slav Kvas^ with which, in Russian folklore, the Devil 
tried to circumvent Noah and his wife, as related in chap, xxvii. part iv. 

' In Sanskrit Adima means ' the first ; ' in Hebrew Adam (given almost 
always with the article) means *the red,' and it is generally derived from 
adatnah^ mould or soil. But Professor Max Miiller (Science of Religion, p. 
320) says if the name Adima (used, by the way, in India for the first man, as 
Adam is in England) is the same as Adam^ ' we should be driven to admit 
that Adam was borrowed by the Jews from the Hindus.' But even that 
mild case of ' driving ' is unnecessary, since the word, as Sale reminded the 
world, is used in the Persian legend. It is probable that the Hebrews im- 
ported this word not knowing its meaning, and as it resembled their word for 


origin of the latter. The Tree of the knowledge of Good 
and Evil which made man 'as one of us' (the Elohim) is 
the Soma of India, the Haoma of Persia, the kvdsir of 
Scandinavia, to which are ascribed the intelligence and 
powers of the gods, and the ardent thoughts of their 
worshippers. The Tree of Immortality is the Amrita, the 
only monopoly of the gods. * The Lord God said. Be- 
hold the man is become as one of us, to know good and 
evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of 
the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the 
Lord God sent him forth the garden of Eden to till the 
ground whence he had been taken. So he drove out 
the man ; and he placed on the east of the garden of 
Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every 
way, to guard the way of the tree of life.' 

This flaming sword turning every way is independent 

mould, they added the gloss that the first man was made of the dnst or mould 
of the ground. It is not contended that the Hebrews got their word directly 
from the Hindu or Persian myth. Mr. George Smith discovered that Admi 
or Adamt was the name for the first men in Chaldean fragments. Sir Henzy 
Rawlinson points out that the ancient Babylonians recognised two principle 
races, — the Adamu, or dark, and the Sarku, or light, race ; probably a dis* 
tinction, remembered in the phrase of Genesis, between the supposed sons of 
Adam and the sons of God. The dark race was the one that fell. Mr. Herbert 
Spencer {Principles 0/ Sociology , Appendix) ofiiers an ingenious suggestion that 
the prohibition of a certain sacred fruit may have been the provision of a light 
race against a dark one, as in Peru only the Yuca and his relatives were 
allowed to eat the stimulating cuca. If this be true in the present case, it would 
still only reflect an earlier tradition that the holy fruit was the rightful pos- 
session of the deities who had won in the struggle for it. 

Nor is there wanting a survival from Indian tradition in the story of Eve. 
Adam said, 'This now is vbone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.' In the 
Manu Code (ix. 22) it is written : ' The bone of woman is united with the 
bone of man, and her flesh with his flesh.' The Indian Adam fell in twain, 
becoming male and female (Yama and Yami). Ewald (Hist, of Israel, i. i) 
has put this matter of the relation between Hebrew aud Hindu traditions, as 
it appears to me, beyond doubt See also Goldziher's Heb. Mythol., p. 326 ; 
and Professor King's Gnostics^ pp. 9, 10, where the hbtoric conditions under 
which the importation would naturally have occurred are succinctly set forth. 
Professor King suggests that Parsi and Pharisee may be the same word. 


of the cherub, and takes the place of the serpent which 
had previously guarded the Meru paradise, but is now an 
enemy no longer to be trusted. 

If the reader will now re-read the story in Genesis with 
the old names restored, he will perceive that there is no 
puzzle at all in any part of it : — ' Now Rdhu [because he 
had stolen and tasted Soma] was more subtle than any 
beast of the field which the Devas had made, and he 
said to Adea Suktee, the first woman, Have the Devas 
said you shall not eat of every tree in the garden ? And 
she said unto Rdhu, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of 
the garden ; but of the Soma-plant, which is in the middle 
of the garden, the Devas have said we shall not eat or 
touch it on pain of death. Then Rihu said to Adea, You 
will not suffer death by tasting Soma [I have done so, and 
live] : the Devas know that on the day when you taste it 
your eyes shall be opened, and you will be equal to them 
in knowledge of good and evil . . . [and you will be able at 
once to discover which tree it is that bears the fruit which 
renders you immortal — the Amrita]. . . . Adea took of the 
Soma and did eat, and gave also unto Adima, her husband, 
and the eyes of them both were opened. . . . And Indra, 
chief of the Devas, said to Rdhu, Because you have done 
this, you are cursed above all cattle and above every beast 
of the field ; [for they shall transmigrate, their souls ascend 
through higher forms to be absorbed in the Creative prin- 
ciple ; but] upon thy belly shalt thou go [remaining trans- 
fixed in the form you have assumed to try and obtain the 
Amrita] ; and [instead of the ambrosia you aimed at] you 
shall eat dift though all your existence. . . . And Indra 
said, Adima and Adea Suktee have [tasted Soma, and] 
become as one of us Devas [so far as] to know good and 
evil ; and now, lest man put forth his hand [on our pre- 
cious Amrita], and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and 


live for ever [giving us another race of Asuras or Serpent- 
men to compete with]. . . . Indra and the Devas drove 
Adima out of Meru, and placed watch-dogs at the east 
of the garden ; and [a sinuous darting flame, precisely 
matched to the now unchangeable form of Rdhu], a flaming 
sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the 
Amrita from Adima and Asuras.* 

While the gods and serpents were churning the ocean 
for the Amrita, all woes and troubles for mortals came up 
first. That ocean shrinks in one region to the box of 
Pandora, in another to the fruit eaten by Eve. How 
foreign such a notion is to the Hebrew theology is shown 
by the fact that even while the curses are falling from the 
fatal fruit on the earth and man, they are all said to 
have proceeded solely from Jehovah, who is thus made to 
supplement the serpent's work. 

It will be seen that in the above version of the story in 
Genesis I have left out various passages. These are in part 
such as must be more fully treated in the succeeding chap- 
ter, and in part the Semitic mosses which have grown upon 
the Aryan boulder. But even after the slight treatment 
which is all I have space to devote to the comparative 
study of the myth in this aspect, it may be safely affirmed 
that the problems which we found insoluble by Hebrew 
correlatives no longer exist if an Aryan origin be assumed. 
We know why the fruit of knowledge was forbidden: 
because it endangered the further fruit of immortality. We 
know how the Serpent might be condemned to crawl for 
ever without absurdity : because he was of a serpent-race, 
able to assume higher forms, and capable of transmigra- 
tion, and of final absorption. We know why the eating 
of the fruit brought so many woes : it was followed by 
the stream of poison from the churned ocean which accom- 
panied the Amrita, and which would have destroyed the 


race of both gods and men, had not Siva drank it up. If 
anything were required to make the Aryan origin of the 
fable certain, it will be found in the fact which will appear 
as we go on, — namely, that the rabbins of our era, in ex- 
plaining the legend which their fathers severely ignored, 
did so by borrowing conceptions foreign to the original 
ideas of their race, — notions about human transformation 
to animal shapes, and about the Serpent (which Moses 
honoured), and mainly of a kind travestying the Iranian 
folklore. Such contact with foreign races for the first 
time gave the Jews any key to the legend which their 
patriarchs and prophets were compelled to pass over in 

( 73 ) 



The Fall of Man — Fall of gods — Giants — Prajdpati and Rdhu — 
Woman and Star-serpent in Persia — Meschia and Meschiane — 
Brdhman legends of the creation of Man— The strength of 
Woman — Elohist and Jehovist creations of Man — The For- 
bidden Fruit — Eve reappears as Sara — Abraham surrenders his 
wife to Jehovah — ^The idea not sensual — Abraham's circumcision 
^The evil name of Woman-*— Noah's wife — The temptation of 
Abraham — Rabbinical legends concerning Eve — Pandora — Sen- 
timent of the Myth of Eve. 

The insig^nificance of the Serpent of Eden in the scheme 
and teachings of the Hebrew Bible is the more remark- 
able when it is considered that the pessimistic view of 
human nature is therein fully represented. In the story 
of the Temptation itself, there is, indeed, no such general- 
isation as we find in the modern dogma of the Fall of 
Man ; but the elements of it are present in the early 
assumption that the thoughts of man's heart run to evil 
continually, — which must be an obvious fact everywhere 
while goodness is identified with fictitious merits. There 
are also expressions suggesting a theory of heredity, of a 
highly superstitious character, — the inheritance being by 
force of the ancestral word or act, and without reference 
to inherent qualities. Outward merits and demerits are 
transmitted for reward and punishment to the third 
and fourth generation ; but the more common-sense view 
appears to have gradually superseded this, as expressed 


in the proverb that the fathers ate sour grapes and the 
children's teeth were on edge. 

In accounting for this condition of human nature, 
popular traditions among the Jews always pointed rather 
to a fall of the gods than to any such catastrophe to 
man. ' The sons of the Elohim feods) saw the daughters 
of men that they were beautiful, and they took to them- 
selves for wives whomsoever they chose.' 'There were 
giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, 
when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, 
and they bare children to them, the same became mighty 
men, which were of old men of renown.*^ These giants 
were to the Semitic mind what the Ahis, Vritras, Sushnas 
and other monsters were to the Aryan, or Titans to the 
Greek mind. They were not traced to the Serpent, but 
to the wild nature-gods, the Elohim, and when Jehovah 
appears it is to wage war against them. The strength 
of this belief is illustrated in the ample accounts given in 
the Old Testament of the Rephaim and their king Og, 
the Anakim and Goliath, the Emim, the Zamzummim, 
and others, all of which gained full representation in 
Hebrew folklore. The existence of these hostile beings 
was explained by their fall from angelic estate. 

The Book of Enoch gives what was no doubt the 
popular understanding of the fall of the angels and its 
results. Two hundred angels took wives of the daughters 
of men, and their offspring were giants three thousand 
yards in height. These giants having consumed the 
food of mankind, began to devour men, whose cries were 
brought to the attention of Jehovah by his angels. One 
angel was sent to warn Noah of the Flood ; another to 
bind Azazel in a dark place in the desert till the Judg- 
ment Day ; Gabriel was despatched to set the giants to 

^ GexL tL I, 2, 4. 

PR A J Ap ATI AND rAhU. 75 

destroying one another; Michael was sent to bury the 
fallen angels under the hills for seventy generations, till 
the Day of Judgment, when they should be sent to the 
fiery abyss for ever. Then every evil work should come 
to an end, and the plant of righteousness spring up.^ 

Such exploits and successes on the part of the legal 
Deity against outlaws, though they may be pitched high 
in heroic romance, are found beside a theology based upon 
a reverse situation. Nothing is more fundamental in the 
ancient Jewish system than the recognition of an outside 
world given over to idolatry and wickedness, while Jews 
are a small colony of the children of Israel and chosen of 
Jehovah. Such a conception in primitive times is so 
natural, and possibly may have been so essential to the 
constitution of nations, that it is hardly useful to look 
for parallels* Though nearly all races see in their tradi- 
tional dawn an Age of Gold, a Happy Garden, or some 
corresponding felicity, these are normally defined against 
anterior chaos or surrounding ferocity. Every Eden has 
had its guards. 

When we come to legends which relate particularly to 
the way in which the early felicity was lost, many facts 
offer themselves for comparative study. And with regard 
to the myths of Eden and Eve, we may remark what 
appears to have been a curious interchange of legends 
between the Hebrews and Persians. The ancient doc- 
trines of India and Persia concerning Origins are largely, 
if not altogether, astronomical. In the Genesis of India 
we see a golden egg floating on a shoreless ocean ; it 
divides to make the heaven above and earth beneath ; 
from it emerges Prajdpati, who also falls in twain to make 
the mortal and immortal substances; the parts of him 
again divide to make men and women on earth, sun and 

* vi.-xi. pp. 3-6. See Drummond's 'Jewish Messiah,* p. 21. 


moon in the sky. This is but one version out of many, 
but all the legends about Frajipati converge in making 
him a figure of Indian astronomy. In the Rig- Veda he is 
Orion, and for ever lies with the three arrows in his belt 
which Sirius shot at him because of his love for Aide- 
baran, — towards which constellation he stretches. Now, 
in a sort of antithesis to this, the evil Rdhu is also cut in 
twain, his upper and immortal part pursuing and trying to 
eclipse the sun and moon, his tail (Ketu) becoming the 9th 
planet, shedding evil influences on mankind.^ This tail, 
Ketu, is quite an independent monster, and we meet with 
him in the Persian planisphere, where he rules the first of 
the six mansions of Ahriman, and is the ' crooked serpent ' 
mentioned in the Book of Job. By referring to vol. i. p. 253, 
the reader will see that this Star-serpent must stand as 
close to the woman with her child and sheaf as Septem- 
ber stands to October. But unquestionably the woman 
was put there for honour and not disgrace ; with her child 
and sheaf she represented the fruitage of the year. 

There is nothing in Persian Mythology going to show 
that the woman betrayed her mansion of fruitage — the 
golden year — to the Serpent near her feet. In the 
Bundehesch we have the original man, Kaiomarts, who 
is slain by Ahriman as Prajipati (Orion) was by Sirius ; 
from his dead form came Meschia and Meschiane, the first 
human pair. Ahriman corrupts them by first giving them 
goats' milk, an evil influence from Capricorn. After they 
had thus injured themselves he tempted them with a fruit 
which robbed them of ninety-nine hundredths of their hap- 
piness. In all this there is no indication that the woman 
and man bore different relations to the calamity. But 
after a time we find a Pars? postscript to this effect: 
* The woman was the first to sacrifice to the Devas.' This 

* See vol. i. p. 255. 

BRAhMAN legends of MAN'S ORIGIN 77 

is the one item in the Pars! Mythology which shows bias^ 
against woman, and as it is unsupported by the narratives 
preceding it, we may suppose that it was derived from 
some foreign country. 

That country could hardly have been India. There 
is a story in remote districts of India which relates that 
the first woman was born out of an expanding lotus 
on the Ganges, and was there received in his paradise by 
the first man (Adima, or Manu). Having partaken of the 
Soma, they were expelled, after first being granted their 
prayer to be allowed a last draught from the Ganges ; the 
effect of the holy water being to prevent entire corruption, 
and secure immortality to their souls. But nowhere in 
Indian legend or folklore do we find any special dishonour 
put upon woman such as is described in the Hebrew story. 

Rather we find the reverse. Early in the last century, 
a traveller, John Marshall, related stories of the creation 
which he says were told him by the Brahmins, and others 
* by the Brahmins of Persia.'^ 

' Once on a time,' the Brahmins said, ' as (God) was set 
in eternity, it came into his mind to make something, and 
immediately no sooner had he thought the same, but that 
the same minute was a perfect beautiful woman present 
immediately before him, which he called Adea Suktee, 
that is, the first woman. Then this figure put into his 
mind the figure of a man ; which he had no sooner con- 
ceived in his mind, but that he also started up, and repre- 
sented himself before him; this he called Manapuise, that 
is, the first man ; then, upon a reflection of these things, 
he resolved further to create several places for them to 
abide in, and accordingly, assuming a subtil body, he 
breathed in a minute the whole universe, and everything 
therein, from the least to the greatest.' 

^ Phil. Trans. Ab. from 1 700-1 720, Part iv. p. 173. 


* The Brahmins of Persia tell certain long stories of a 
great Giant that was led into a most delicate garden, 
which, upon certain conditions, should be his own for ever. 
But one evening in a cool shade one of the wicked Devatas, 
or spirits, came to him, and tempted him with vast sums 
of gold, and all the most precious jewels that can be ima- 
gined ; but he courageously withstood that temptation, 
as not knowing what value or use they were of: but at 
length this wicked Devata brought to him a fair woman, 
who so charmed him that for her sake he most willingly 
broke all his conditions, and thereupon was turned out' 

In the first of these two stories the names given to the 
man and woman are popular words derived from Sans- 
krit In the second the Persian characters are present, as 
in the use of Devatas to denote wicked powers ; but for 
the rest, this latter legend appears to me certainly borrowed 
from the Jews so far as the woman is concerned. It was 
they who first perceived any connection between Virgo in 
the sixth mansion of Ormuzd, and Python in the seventh, 
and returned the Persians their planisphere with a new 
gloss. Having adopted the Dragon's tail (Ketu) for a 
little preliminary performance, the Hebrew system dis- 
misses that star-snake utterly ; for it has already evolved 
a terrestrial devil from its own inner consciousness. 

The name of that devil is — Woman. The diabolisa- 
tion of woman in their theology and tradition is not to be 
regarded as any indication that the Hebrews anciently 
held women in dishonour ; rather was it a tribute to her 
powers of fascination such as the young man wrote to be 
placed under the pillow of Darius—' Woman is strongest' 
As Darius and his council agreed that, next to truth, 
woman is strongest — stronger than wine or than kings, so 
do the Hebrew fables testify by interweaving her beauty 
and genius with every evil of the world. 


Between the Elohist and Jahvist accounts of the crea- 
tion of man, there are two difTerences of great importance. 
The Elohim are said to have created man in their own 
image, male and female, — the word for 'created' being bard^ 
literally meaning to carve out Jehovah Elohim is said 
to have formed man, — nothing being said about his own 
image, or about male and female, — the word yj7rw^^ being 
yatsat^. The sense of this word yatsar in this place (Gen. 
ii. 7) must be interpreted by what follows : Jehovah is said 
to have formed man out of the apha/, which the English 
version translates dust, but the Septuagint more correctly 
sperma. The literal meaning is a finely volatilised sub- 
stance, and in Numbers xxiii. lo, it is used to represent 
the seed of Jacob. In the Jehovistic creation it means 
that man was formed out of the seminal principle of the 
earth combined with the breath of Jehovah; and the 
legend closely resembles the account of the ancient 
Satapatha-Brdhmana, which shows the creative power in 
sexual union with the fluid world to produce the egg 
from which Prajdpati was born, to be divided into man 
and woman. 

These two accounts, therefore, — ^to wit, that in the first 
and that in the second chapter of Genesis, — must be re- 
garded as being of different events, and not merely vary- 
ing myths of the same event. The offspring of Jehovah 
were ' living souls,' an expression not used in connection 
with the created images of the giants or Elohim. The 
Elohist pair roam about the world freely eating all fruits 
and herbs, possessing nature generally, and, as male and 
female, encouraged to increase and multiply ; but Jehovah 
carefully separates his two children from general nature, 
places them in a garden, forbids certain food, and does not 
say a word about sex even, much less encourage its func- 


Adam was formed simply to be the gardener of Eden ; 
no other motive is assigned. In proposing the creation 
of a being to be his helper and companion, nothing is said 
about a new sex, — the word translated * help-meet ' {izer) 
is masculine. Adam names the being made 'woman/ 
(Vulg. Virago) only because she has been made out of 
man, but sex is not even yet suggested. This is so 
marked that the compiler has filled up what he con- 
sidered an omission with (verse 24) a little lecture on 
duty to wives. 

It is plain that the jealously-guarded ambrosia of Aryan 
gods has here been adapted to signify the sexual relation. 
That is the fruit in the midst of the garden which is 
reserved. The eating of it is immediately associated with 
consciousness of nudity and shame. The curse upon Hve 
is appropriate. Having taken a human husband, she is to 
be his slave ; she shall bring forth children in sorrow, and 
many of them (Gen. iii. 16). Adam is to lose his position 
in Jehovah's garden, and to toil in accursed ground, barren 
and thorny. 

Cast out thus into the wilderness, the human progeny 
as it increased came in contact with the giant's progeny, — 
those created by the Elohim (Gen. i.). When these had 
intermarried, Jehovah said that the fact that the human 
side in such alliance had been orginally vitalised by his 
breath could not now render it immortal, because ' he (man) 
also is flesh,' /.^., like the creatures of the nature-gods. 
After two great struggles with these Titans, drowning most 
of them, hurling down their tower and scattering them, 
Jehovah resolved upon a scheme of vast importance, and 
one which casts a flood of light upon the narrative just 
given. Jehovah's great aim is shown in the Abrahamic 
covenant to be to found a family on earth, of which he 
can say, ' Thou art my son ; I have begotten thee.' Eve 


was meant to be the mother of that family, but by yield- 
ing to her passion for the man meant only to be her 
companion she had thwarted the purpose of Jehovah. 
But she reappears again under the name of Sara ; and 
from first to last the sense of these records, however over- 
laid by later beliefs, is the expansion, varying fortunes, and 
gradual spiritualisation of this aspiration of a deity for a 
family of his own in the earth. 

Celsus said that the story of the Virgin Mary and the 
Holy Ghost is one in which christians would find little 
'mystery* if the names were Danae and Jupiter. The 
same may be said of the story of Sara and Jehovah, of 
which that concerning Mary is a theological travesty. 
Sarai (as she was called before her transfer to Jehovah, 
who then forbade Abraham to call her ' My Princess,' but 
only 'Princess') was chosen because she was childless. 
Abraham was paid a large recompense for her surrender, 
and provision was made that he should have a mistress, 
and by her a son. This natural son was to be renowned 
and have great possessions ; nominally Abraham was to 
be represented by Sara's miraculously -conceived son, 
and to control his fortunes, but the blood of the new 
race was to be purely divine in its origin, so that every 
descendant of Isaac might be of Jehovah*s family in 
Abraham's household. 

Abraham twice gave over his wife to different kings 
who were jealously punished by Jehovah for sins they 
only came near committing unconsciously, while Abra- 
ham himself was not even rebuked for the sin he did 
commit. The forbidden fruit was not eaten this time ; 
and the certificate and proof of the supernatural con- 
ception of Isaac were made clear in Sarah's words — * God 
hath made me to laugh : all that hear will laugh with me : 

who would have said unto Abraham that Sarah should 


have given children suck ? for I have borne a son in his 
old age.* ^ 

It was the passionate nature and beauty of Woman 
which had thus far made the difficulty. The forbidden 
fruit was ' pleasant to the eyes/ and Eve ate it ; and it 
Mras her 'voice' to which Adam had hearkened rather than 
to that of Jehovah (Gen. iii. 17). And, again, it was the 
easy virtue and extreme beauty of Sara (Gen. xii. 11, 14) 
which endangered the new scheme. The rabbinical tra- 
ditions are again on this point very emphatic. It is related 
that when Abram came to the border of Egypt he hid 
Sara in a chest, and was so taking her into that country. 
The collector of customs charged that the chest contained 
raiment, silks, gold, pearls, and Abram paid for all these ; 
but this only increased the official's suspicions, and he 
compelled Abram to open the chest ; when this was done 
and Sara rose up, the whole land of Egypt was illumined 
by her splendour.* 

There is no reason for supposing that the ideas under- 
lying the relation which Jehovah meant to establish with 
Eve, and succeeded in establishing with Sara, were of a 
merely sensual description. These myths belong to the 

^ Gen. 3cxL 6, 7. The English version has destroyed the sense by sapplying 
'him ' after ' borne.' Cf. also verses I, 2. The rabbins were fuUy aware of 
the importance of the statement that it was Jehovah who ' opened the womb 
of Sara,' and supplemented it with various traditions. It was related that 
when Isaac was bom, the kings of the earth refused to believe such a prodigy 
concerning even a beauty of ninety years ; whereupon the breasts of all their 
wives were miraculously dried up, and they all had to bring their children to 
Sara to be suckledi 

• Fortieth Parascha, fol. 37, coL I. The solar — or more correctly, so 
far as Sara is concerned, lunar — aspects of the legend of Abraham, Sara, and 
Isaac, however important, do not affect the human nature with which they 
are associated ; nor is the special service to which they are pressed in Jewish 
theology altered by the theory (should it prove true) which derives these 
personages from Aryan mythology. There seems to be some reason for 
supposing that Sara is a semiticised form of Saranyu. The two stand in 


mental region of ancestor-worship, and the fundamental 
conception is that of founding a family to reign over all 
other families. Jehovah's interest is in Isaac rather than 
Sara, who, after she has borne that patriarch, lapses out of 
the story almost as completely as Eve. The idea is not, 
indeed, so theological as it became in the Judaic-christian 
legend of the conception of Jesus by Mary as spouse of 
the Deity ; it was probably, however, largely ethnical in 
the case of Eve, and national in that of Sara. 

It being considered of the utmost importance that all 
who claimed the advantages in the Jewish commonwealth 
accruing only to the legal, though nominal, * children of 
Abraham,' should really be of divine lineage, security 
must be had against Isaac having any full brother. It 
might be that in after time some natural son of Sara 
might claim to be the one born of divine parentage, might 
carry on the Jewish commonwealth, slay the children of 
Jehovah by Sara, and so end the divine lineage with the 
authority it carried. Careful precautions having been 
taken that Ishmael should be an 'irreconcilable,' there 
is reason to suspect that the position of Isaac as Jehovah's 
* only-begotten son ' was secured by means obscurely 
hinted in the circumcision first undei^one by Abraham, 
and made the sign of the covenant. That circumcision, 
wheresoever it has survived, is the relic of a more horrible 
practice of barbarian asceticism, is hardly doubtful ; that 
the original rite was believed to have been that by which 
Abraham fulfilled his contract with Jehovah, appears 'to 

somewhat the same typical position. Saranyu, daughter of Tvashtar ('the 
fashioner \ was mother of the first human pair, Yama and Yami. Sara is the 
first mother of those bom in a new (covenanted) creation. Each is for a time 
concealed from mortals ; each leaves her husband an ill^timate representa- 
tive. Saranyili gives her lord Savamd ('substitute'), who by him brings 
forth Manu, — that is ' Man,' but not the original perfect Man. Sara substi- 
tutes Hagar ('the fleeting '), and Ishmael is bom, but not within the covenant 


me intimated in various passages of the narrative which 
have survived editorial arrangement in accordance with 
another view. For instance, the vast inducements offered 
Abraham, and the great horror that fell on the patriarch, 
appear hardly explicable on the theory that nothing was 
conceded on Abraham's side beyond the surrender of a 
wife whom he had freely consigned to earthly monarchs. 

Though the suspicion just expressed as to the nature of 
Abraham's circumcision may be doubted, it is not ques- 
tionable that the rite of circumcision bears a significance 
in rabbinical traditions and Jewish usages which renders 
its initiation by Abraham at least a symbol of marital 
renunciation. Thus, the custom of placing in a room 
where the rite of circumcision was performed a pot of 
dust, was explained by the rabbins to have reference to 
the dust which Jehovah declared should be the serpent's 
food.^ That circumcision should have been traditionally 
associated with the temptation of Eve is a confirmation of 
the interpretation which regards her (Eve) as the proto- 
type of Sara and the serpent as sexual desire. 

Although, if the original sense of Abraham's circum- 
cision were what has been suggested, it had been overlaid, 
when the Book of Genesis in its present form was compiled, 
by different traditions, and that patriarch is described as 
having married again and had other children, the superior 
sanctity of Sara's son was preserved. Indeed, there would 
seem to have continued for a long time a tradition that 
the Abrahamic line and covenant were to be carried out 
by 'the seed of the woman' alone, and the paternity of 
Jehovah, Like Sara, Rebekah is sterile, and after her 

^ Gen. iii. 14. Zerov. Hummor, fol. 8, col. 3. Parascha Bereschith. It 
is said that, according to Prov. xxv. 21, if thy enemy hunger thou must feed 
him ; and hence dust must be placed for the serpent when its power over man 
is weakened by ciicumcision. 


Rachel ; the birth of Jacob and Esau from one, and of 
Joseph and Benjamin from the other, being through the 
intervention of Jehovah. 

The great power of woman for good or evil, and the fact 
that it has often been exercised with subtlety — the natural 
weapon of the weak in dealing with the strong — are re- 
markably illustrated in the legends of these female figures 
which appear in connection with the divine schemes in the 
Book of Genesis. But even more the perils of woman's 
beauty are illustrated, especially in Eve and Sara. There 
were particular and obvious reasons why these representa- 
tive women could not be degraded or diabolised in their 
own names or history, even where their fascinations tended 
to countervail the plans of Jehovah. The readiness with 
which Sara promoted her husband's prostitution and con- 
sented to her own, the treachery of Rebekah to her son 
Esau, could yet not induce Jewish orthodoxy to give evil 
names to the Madonnas of their race : but the inference 
made was expressed under other forms and names. It 
became a settled superstition that wherever evil was going 
on, Woman was at the bottom of it. Potiphar's wife, Jeze- 
bel, Vashti, and Delilah, were among the many she-scape- 
goats on whom were laid the offences of their august ofRcial 
predecessors who * could do no wrong.' Even after Satan 
has come upon the scene, and is engaged in tempting Job, 
it seems to have been thought essential to the task that he 
should have an agent beside the troubled man in the wife 
who bade him ' curse God and die.' 

It is impossible to say at just what period the rabbins 
made their ingenious discovery that the devil and Woman 
entered the world at the same time, — he coming out of the 
hole left by removal of the rib from Adam before it was 
closed. This they found disclosed in the fact that it is in 
Genesis iii. 21, describing the creation of Woman, that 


there appears for the first time Samech — the serpent-letter 
S (in Vajisgor)} But there were among them many 
legends of a similar kind that leave one no wonder con- 
cerning the existence of a thanksgiving taught boys that 
they have not been created women, however much one 
may be scandalised at its continuance in the present day. 
It was only in pursuance of this theory of Woman that 
there was developed at a later day a female assistant of 
the Devil in another design to foil the plans of Jehovah, 
from the Scriptual narrative of which the female r61e is 
omitted. In the Scriptural legend of Noah his wife is 
barely mentioned, and her name is not given, but from an 
early period vague rumours to her discredit floated about, 
and these gathered consistency in the Gnostic legend that 
it was through her that Satan managed to get on board 
the Ark, as is elsewhere related (Part IV. chap, xxvii.), and 
was so enabled to resuscitate antediluvial violence in the 
drunken curses of Noah. Satan did this by working upon 
both the curiosity and jealousy of Noraita, the name 
assigned Noah's wife. 

It has been necessary to give at length the comparative 
view of the myth of Eden in order that the reader may 
estimate the grounds upon which rests a theory which has 
been submitted after much hesitation concerning its sense. 
The * phallic ' theor}' by which it has become the fashion 
to interpret so many of these old fables, appears to me to 
have been done to death ; yet I cannot come to any other 
conclusion concerning the legend of Eve than that she re- 
presents that passional nature of Woman which, before it 
was brought under such rigid restraint, might easily be re- 
garded as a weakness to any tribe desirous of keeping itself 
separate from other tribes. The oath exacted by Abraham 

^ Parascha Bereschith, foL 12, col. 4. Eisenmenger, EntdecJus Judtnthum^ 
ii. 409. 


of his servant that he should seek out a wife from among 
his own people, and not among Canaanitish women, is one 
example among many of this feeling, which, indeed, sur- 
vives among Jews at the present day. Such a sentiment 
might underlie the stories of Eve and Sara — ^the one ming- 
ling the blood of the family of Jehovah with mere human 
flesh, the other nearly confusing it with aliens. As the 
idea of tribal sanctity and separateness became strength- 
ened by the further development of theocratic government, 
such myths would take on forms representing Jehovah's 
jealousy in defending his family line against the evil powers 
which sought to confuse or destroy it. One such attempt 
appears to underlie the story of the proposed sacrifice of 
Isaac. Although the account we have of that proceeding 
in the Bible was written at a time when the Elohist and 
Jahvist parties had compromised their rivalries to some 
extent, and suggests the idea that Jehovah himself ordered 
the sacrifice in order to try the faith of Abraham, enough 
of the primitive tradition lingers in the narrative to make 
It probable that its original intent was to relate how one of 
the superseded Elohim endeavoured to tempt Abraham to 
sacrifice Sara's only son, and so subvert the aim of Jeho- 
vah to perpetuate his seed. The God who * tempted Abra- 
ham ' is throughout sharply distinguished from the Jehovah 
who sent his angel to prevent the sacrifice and substitute 
an animal victim for Isaac. 

Although, as we have seen, Sara was spared degrada- 
tion into a she-devil in subsequent myths, because her 
body was preserved intact despite her laxity of mind, 
such was not the case with Eve. The silence concerning 
her preserved throughout the Bible after her fall is told 
was broken by the ancient rabbins, and there arose multi- 
tudinous legends in which her intimacies with devils are 
circumstantially reported. Her first child, Cain, was gene- 


rally believed to be the son of one of the devils (Samael) 
that consorted with her, and the world was said to be 
peopled with gnomes and demons which she brought 
forth during that 130 years at the end of which it is stated 
that Adam begot a son in his own image and likeness, and 
called his name Seth (Gen. v. 3). The previous children 
were supposed to be not in purely human form, and not 
to have been of Adam's paternity. Adam had during that 
time refused to have any children, knowing that he would 
only rear inmates of hell. 

The legend of Eden has gone round the world doing 
various duty, but nearly always associated with the intro- 
duction of moral evil into the world. In the Lateran 
Museum at Rome there is a remarkable bas-relief repre- 
senting a nude man and woman offering sacrifice before a 
serpent coiled around a tree, while an angel overthrows 
the altar with his foot. This was probably designed as a 
fling at the Ophites, and is very interesting as a survival 
from the ancient Aryan meaning of the Serpent. But 
since the adaptation of the myth by the Semitic race, it has 
generally emphasised the Tree of the Knowledge of Good 
and Evil, instead of the Tree of Immortality (Amrita), 
which i^ the chief point of interest in the Arya^ myth. 
There are indeed traces of a conflict with knowledge and 
scepticism in it which we shall have to consider hereafter. 
The main popular association with it, the introduction into 
the world of all the ills that flesh is heir to, is perfectly 
consistent with the sense which has been attributed to its 
early Hebrew form ; for this includes the longing for mater- 
nity, its temptations and its pains, and the sorrows and 
sins which are obviously traceable to it. 

Some years ago, when the spectacular drama of ' Para- 
dise ' was performed in Paris, the Temptation was effected 
by means of a mirror. Satan glided behind the tree as a 



serpent, and then came forth as a handsome man, and after 
uttering compliments that she could not understand, pre- 
sented Eve with a small oval mirror which explained them 
all. Mile. Abingdon as Eve displayed consummate art 
in her expression of awakening self-admiration, of the 
longing for admiration from the man before her, and the 
various stages of self-consciousness by which she is brought 
under the Tempter's power. This idea of the mirror was 
no doubt borrowed from the corresponding fable of Pan- 
dora. On a vase (Etruscan) in the Hamilton Collection 


there is an admirable representation of Pandora opening 
her box, from which all evils are escaping. She is seated 
beneath a tree, around which a serpent is coiled. Among 
the things which have come out of the box is this same 
small oval mirror. In this variant, Hope, coming out last 
corresponds with the prophecy that the seed of the woman 
shall bruise the serpent's head. The ancient Etruscan and 
the modern Parisian version are both by the mirror finely 
connected with the sexual sense of the legend. 

The theological interpretation of the beautiful myth of 
Eden represents a sort of spiritual vivisection ; yet even 
as a dogma the story preserves high testimony : when 
woman falls the human race falls with her; when man 
rises above his inward or outward degradations and re- 
covers his Paradise, it is because his nature is refined by 
the purity of woman, and his home sweetened by her 
heart. There is a widespread superstition that every 
Serpent will single out a woman from any number of 
people for its attack. In such dim way is felt her gentle 
bruising of man's reptilian self. No wonder that woman 
is excluded from those regions of life where man's policy 
is still to crawl, eat dust, and bite the heel. 

It is, I suppose, the old Mystery of the Creation which 
left Coventry its legend of a Good Eve (Godiva), whose 

90 GO DIVA. 

nakedness should bring benefit to man, as that of the first 
Eve brought him evil. The fig-leaf of Eve, gathered no 
doubt from the tree whose forbidden fruit she had eaten, 
has gradually grown so large as to cloak her mind and 
spirit as well as her form. Her work must still be chiefly 
that of a spirit veiled and ashamed. Her passions sup- 
pressed, her genius disbelieved, her influence forced to seek 
hidden and often illegitimate channels. Woman now out- 
wardly represents a creation of man to suit his own con- 
venience. But the Serpent has also changed a great deal 
since the days of Eve, and now, as Intelligence, has found 
out man in his fool's-paradise, where he stolidly maintains 
that, with few exceptions, it is good for man to be alone. 
But good women are remembering Godiva ; and realising 
that, the charms which have sometimes lowered man or cost 
him dear may be made his salvation. It shall be so when 
Woman can face with clear-eyed purity all the facts of 
nature, can cast away the mental and moral swathing- 
clothes transmitted from Eden, and put forth all. her 
powers for the welfare of mankind, — a Good Eva, whom 
Coventry Toms may call naked, but who is *not ashamed * 
of the garb of Innocence and Truth, 

( 91 ) 



Madonnas — Adam's first wife — Her flight and doom — Creation of 
devils — Lilith marries Samagl — Tree of Life — Lilith's part in 
the Temptation — Her locks — Lamia — Bodeima — Meschia and 
Meschiane — Amazons — Maternity — Rib- theory of Woman — KiXi 
and Durga — Captivity of Woman. 

The attempt of the compilers of the Book of Genesis to 
amalgamate the Elohist and Jehovist legends, ignoring 
the moral abyss that yawns between them, led to some 
sufficiently curious results. One of these it may be well 
enough to examine here, since, though later in form than 
some other legends which remain to be considered, it is 
closely connected in spirit with the ancient myth of Eden 
and illustrative of it. 

The differences between the two creations of man and 
woman critically examined in the previous chapter were 
fully recognised by the ancient rabbins, and their specula- 
tions on the subject laid the basis for the further legend 
that the woman created (Gen. i.) at the same time with 
Adam, and therefore not possibly the woman formed 
from his rib, was a first wife who turned out badly. 

To this first wife of Adam it was but natural to assign 
the name of one of the many ancient goddesses who had 
been degraded into demonesses. For the history ot 
Mariolatry in the North of Europe has been many times 
anticipated : the mother's tenderness and self-devotion. 


the first smile of love upon social chaos, av^'led to give 
every race its Madonna, whose popularity drew around 
her the fatal favours of priestcraft, weighing her down at 
last to be a type of corruption. Even the Semitic tribes, 
with their hard masculine deities, seem to have once wor- 
shipped Alilat, whose name survives in Elohim and Allah. 
Among these degraded Madonnas was Lilith, whose name 
has been found in a Chaldean inscription, which says, when 
a country is at peace * Lilith (Lilatu) is not before them/ 
The name is from Assyr. la^lA, Hebrew Lil (night), which 
already in Accadian meant 'sorcery.' It probably per- 
sonified, at first, the darkness that soothed children to 
slumber; and though the word Lullaby has, with more 
ingenuity than accuracy, been derived from Lilith Abi^ the 
theory may suggest the path by which the soft Southern 
night came to mean a nocturnal spectre. 

The only place where the name of Lilith occurs in the 
Bible is Isa. xxxiv. 14, where the English version renders 
it ' screech-owl' In the Vulgate it is translated * Lamia/ 
and in Luther's Bible, ' Kobold ;' Gesenius explains it as 
' nocturna, night-spectre, ghost/ 

The rabbinical myths concerning Lilith, often passed 
over as puerile fancies, appear to me pregnant with signi- 
ficance and beauty. Thus Abraham Ecchelensis, giving a 
poor Arabic version of the legend, says, ' This fable has 
been transmitted to the Arabs from Jewish sources by 
some converts of Mahomet from Cabbalism and Rabbin- 
ism, who have transferred all the Jewish fooleries to the 
Arabs.* * But the rabbinical legend grew very slowly, and 
relates to principles and facts of social evolution whose 
force and meaning are not yet exhausted. 

Premising that the legend is here pieced together mainly 
from Eisenmenger,^ who at each mention of the subject 

^ Hist Axabdm. * Entdeckes Judenthum. 


gives ample references to rabbinical authorities, I will 
relate it without further references of my own. 

Lilith was said to have been created at the same time 
and in the same way as Adam ; and when the two met 
they instantly quarrelled about the headship which both 
claimed. Adam began the first conversation by asserting 
that he was to be her master. Lilith replied that she had 
equal right to be chief. Adam insisting, Lilith uttered a 
certain spell called Schem-hammphorasch — afterwards con- 
fided by a fallen angel to one of * the daughters of men ' with 
whom he had an intrigue, and of famous potency in 
Jewish folklore — the result of which was that she obtained 
wings. Lilith then flew out of Eden and out of sight.^ 
Adam, then cried in distress — ' Master of the world, the 
woman whom thou didst give me has flown away.' The 
Creator then sent three angels to find Lilith and persuade 
her to return to the garden ; but she declared that it could 
be no paradise to her if she was to be the servant of m^n. 
She remained hovering over the Red Sea, where the 
angels had found her, while these returned with her 
inflexible resolution. And she would not yield even after 
the angels had been sent again to convey to her, as the 
alternative of not returning, the doom that she should 
bear many children but these should all die in infancy. 

This penalty was so awful that Lilith was about to 
commit suicide by drowning herself in the sea, when the 
three angels, moved by her anguish, agreed that she should 
have the compensation of possessing full power over all 
children after birth up to their eighth day ; on which she 
promised that she would never disturb any babes who 
were under their (the angels') protection. Hence the 

* This legend may have been in the mind of the writer of the Book of 
Revelations when (xii. 14) he describes the Woman who received wings that 
she might escape the Serpent Lilith's wings bore her to the Serpent 


charm (Camea) against Lilith hung round the necks of 
Jewish children bore the names of these three angels — 
Sen6i, Sansen6i, and SammangeI6f. Lilith has special 
power over all children born out of wedlock for whom she 
watches, dressed in finest raiment ; and she has especial 
power on the first day of the month, and on the Sabbath 
evening. When a little child laughs in its sleep it was 
believed that Lilith was with it, and the babe must be 
struck on the nose three times, the words being thrice 
repeated—* Away, cursed Lilith ! thou hast no place 
here I ' 

The divorce between Lilith and Adam being complete, 
the second Eve (f^.. Mother) was now formed, and this 
time out of Adam's rib in order that there might be no 
question of her dependence, and that the embarrassing^ 
question of woman's rights might never be raised again. 

But about this time the Devils were also created. 
These beings were the last of the six days' creation, but 
they were made so late in the day that there was no 
daylight by which to fashion bodies for them. The 
Creator was just putting them off with a promise that 
he would make them bodies next day, when lo 1 the 
Sabbath — ^which was for a long time personified — came 
and sat before him, to represent the many evils which 
might result from the precedent he would set by working 
even a little on the day whose sanctity had already been 
promulgated. Under these circumstances the Creator told 
the Devils that they must disperse and try to get bodies 
as they could find them. On this account they have been 
compelled ever since to seek carnal enjoyments by nestling 
in the hearts of human beings and availing themselves of 
human senses and passions. 

These Devils as created were ethereal spirits; they had 
certain atmospheric forms, but felt that they had been 


badly treated in not having been provided with flesh and 
blood, and they were envious of the carnal pleasures 
which human beings could enjoy. So long as man and 
woman remained pure, the Devils could not take posses- 
sion of their bodies and enjoy such pleasures, and it was 
therefore of great importance to them that the first human 
pair should be corrupted At the head of these Devils 
stood now a fallen angel — Samael. Of this archfiend 
more is said elsewhere ; at this point it need only be said 
that he had been an ideal flaming Serpent, leader of the 
Seraphim. He was already burning with lust and envy, 
as he witnessed the pleasures of Adam and Eve in Eden, 
when he found beautiful Lilith lamenting her wrongs in 

She became his wife. The name of Samael by one 
interpretation signifies ' the Left ' ; and we may suppose 
that Lilith found him radical on the question of female 
equality which she had raised in Eden. He gave her a 
splendid kingdom where she was attended by 480 troops ; 
but all this could not compensate her for the loss of Eden, 
— she seems never to have regretted parting with Adam, 
— and for the loss of her children. She remained the 
Lady of Sorrow. Her great enemy was Machalath who 
presided over 478 troops, and who was for ever dancing, 
as Lilith was for ever sighing and weeping. It was long 
believed that at certain times the voice of Lilith's grief 
could be heard in the air. 

Samael found in Lilith a willing conspirator against 
Jehovah in his plans for man and woman. The corrup- 
tion of these two meant, to the troops of Samael, bring- 
ing their bodies down into a plane where they might 
be entered by themselves (the Devils), not to mention at 
present the manifold other motives by which they were 
actuated. It may be remarked also that in the rabbinical 


traditions, after their Aryan impregnation, there are traces 
of a desire of the Devils to reach the Tree of Life. 

Truly a wondrous Tree! Around it, in its place at 
the east of Eden, sang six hundred thousand lovely angels 
with happy hymns, and it glorified the vast garden. It 
possessed five hundred thousand different flavours and 
odours, which were wafted to the four sides of the world 
by zephyrs from seven lustrous clouds that made its 
canopy. Beneath it sat the disciples of Wisdom on 
resplendent seats, screened from the blaze of sun, moon, 
and cloud-veiled from potency of the stars (there was no 
night) ; and within were the joys referred to in the verse 
(Prov. viii. 21), ' That I may cause those that love me to 
inherit substance ; and I will fill their treasures.' 

Had there been an order of female rabbins the story of 
Lilith might have borne obvious modifications, and she 
might have appeared as a heroine anxious to rescue her 
sex from slavery to man. As it is the immemorial pre- 
rogative of man to lay all blame upon woman, that being 
part of the hereditary following of Adam, it is not wonder- 
ful that Lilith was in due time made responsible for the 
temptation of Eve, She was supposed to 
have beguiled the Serpent on guard at 
the gate of Eden to lend her his form for 
a time, after which theory the curse on 
the serpent might mean the binding of 
Lilith for ever in that form. This would 
appear to have originated the notion men- 
tioned in Comestor {Hist. SchoL, I2th 
cent.), that while the serpent was yet erect 
it had a virgin's head. The accompany- 

P;,, .,-Lii.rrH *i.D E« . , . , . 

<M«iiiiwi rniiui^ mg cxamplc IS from a very eariy mis- 
sal in the possession of Sir Joseph Hooker, of which 
I could not discover the date or history, but the theory 


is traceable tn the eighth ccntuiy. In this picture we 
have an early example of those which have since become 
familiar in old Bibles. Pietro d'Orvieto painted this ser- 
pent-woman in his finest fresco, at Pisa. Perhaps in no 
other picture has the genius of Michael Angelo been more 
felicitous than in that on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 
in which Lilith is portrayed. In this picture (Fig. 2) 
the marvellous beauty of his first wife appears to have 
awakened the enthusiasm of Adam; and, indeed, it is quite 

Fig. 1.— TsHPTATiOH AHD EXPULSION (Micluel Angelu, S^BlDE Cliapil). 

in harmony with the earlier myth that Lilith should be of 
greater beauty than Eve. 

An artist and poet of our own time (Rossetti) has by 
both of his arts celebrated the fatal beauty of Lilith. 
His Lilith, bringing ' soft sleep,' antedates, as I think, the 
fair devil of the Rabbins, but is also the mediaeval witch 
against whose beautiful locks Mephistopheles warns Faust 
when she appears at the Walpurgis-night oigie. 

The rose and poppy are her flowers ; for whiire 
Is be not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent 

And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare ? 
Lo I as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went 
Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent, 
And round his heart one strangling golden hair. 


The potency of Lilith's tresses has probably its origin iii 
the hairy nature ascribed by the Rabbins to all demons 
(shedifn)^ and found fully represented in Esau. Perhaps 
the serpent-locks of Medusa had a similar origin. Nay, 
there is a suggestion in Dante that these tresses of 
Medusa may have once represented fascinating rather 
than horrible serpents. As she approaches, Virgil is 
alarmed for his brother-poet : 

' Turn thyself back, and keep tby vision hid ; 
For, if the Gorgon show, and then behold, 
'T would all be o*er with e'er returning up.' 
So did the master say ; and he himself 
Turned me, and to my own hands trusted not. 
But that with his too he should cover me. 
O you that have a sane intelligence, 
Look ye unto the doctrine which herein 
Conceals itself 'neath the strange verses' veil.^ 

If this means that the security against evil is to veil the 
eyes from it, Virgil's warning would be against a beautiful 
seducer, similar to the warning given by Mephistopheles 
to Faust against the fatal charms of Lilith. Since, how- 
ever, even in the time of Homer, the Gorgon was a 
popular symbol of terrors, the possibility of a survival 
in Dante's mind of any more primitive association with 
Medusa is questionable. The Pauline doctrine, that the 
glory of a woman is her hair, no doubt had important 
antecedents : such glory might easily be degraded, and 
every hair turn to a fatal 'binder,' like the one golden 
thread of Lilith round the heart of her victim ; or it might 
ensnare its owner. In Treves Cathedral there is a curious 
old picture of a woman carried to hell by her beautiful 
hair ; one devil draws her by it, another is seated on her 
back and drives her by locks of it as a bridle. 

In the later developments of the myth of Lilith she 

* Inferno, ix. 56-64. 


was, among the Arabs, transformed to a Ghoul, but in 
rabbinical legend she appears to have been influenced by 
the story of Lamia, whose name is substituted for Lilith 
in the Vulgate. Like Lilith, Lamia was robbed of her 
children, and was driven by despair to avenge herself on 
all children.^ The name of Lamia was long used to 
frighten Italian children, as that of Lilith was by Hebrew 

It is possible that the part assigned to Lilith in the 
temptation of Eve may have been suggested by ancient 
Egyptian sculptures, which represent the Tree of Life in 
Amenti (Paradise) guarded by the Serpent-goddess Nu. 
One of these in the British Museum represents the Osi- 
rian on his journey to heaven, and his soul in form of a 


human-headed bird, drinking the water of Life as poured 
out to them from a jar by the goddess who coils around 
the sacred sycamore, her woman's bust and face appear- 
ing amid the branches much like Lilith in our old 

The Singhalese also have a kind of Lilith or Lamia 
whom they call Bodrima, though she is not so much 
dreaded for the sake of children as for her vindictive feel- 
ings towards men. She is the ghost of a woman who died 
in childbirth and in great agony. She may be heard wail- 
ing in the night, it is said, and if she meets any man will 
choke him to death. When her wailing is heard men are 
careful to stay within doors, but the women go forth with 
brooms in their hands and abuse Bodrima with epithets. 
She fears women, especially when they carry brooms. But 
the women have also some compassion for this poor ghost, 

^ She was a Lybian Queen beloved by Zeus, whose children were victims 
of Hera's jealousy. She was daughter of Belus, and it is a notable coinci- 
dence, if no more, that in Gen. xxxvi. 'Bela ' is mentioned as a king of Edom, 
the domain of Samael, who married Lilith. 


and often leave a lamp and some betel leaves where she 
may get some warmth and comfort from them. If Bod- 
rima be fired at, there may be found, perhaps, a dead 
lizard near the spot in the morning;. 

As protomartyr of female independence, Lilith suffered 
a fate not unlike that of her sisters and successors in our 
own time who have appealed from the legendary decision 
made in Eden : she became the prototype of the * strong- 
minded ' and * cold-hearted ' woman, and personification of 
the fatal fascination of the passionless. Her special relation 
to children was gradually expanded, and she was regarded 
as the perilous seducer of young men, each of her victims 
perishing of unrequited passion. She was ever young, and 
always dressed with great beauty. It would seem that 
the curse upon her for forsaking Adam — that her children 
should die in infancy — ^was escaped in the case of the chil- 
dren she had by Samael. She was almost as prolific as 
Echidna. Through all the latter rabbinical lore it is re- 
peated, ' Samael is the fiery serpent, Lilith the crooked 
serpent,' and from their union came Leviathan, Asmodeus, 
and indeed most of the famous devils. 

There is an ancient Persian legend of the first man 
and woman, Meschia and Meschiane, that they for a long 
time lived happily together : they hunted together, and 
discovered fire, and made an axe, and with it built them a 
hut. But no sooner had they thus set up housekeeping 
than they fought terribly, and, after wounding each other, 
parted. It is not said which remained ruler of the hut, 
but we learn that after fifty years of divorce they were 

These legends show the question of equality of the 
sexes to' have been a very serious one in early times. 
The story of Meschia and Meschiane fairly represents 
primitive man living by the hunt ; that of Eden shows 


man entering on the work of agriculture. In neither of 
these occupations would there be any reason why woman 
should be so unequal as to set in motion the forces which 
have diminished her physical stature and degraded her 
position. Women can still hunt and fish, and they are 
quite man's equal in tilling the soil.^ 

In all sex-mythology there are intimations that women 
were taken captive. The proclamation of female subor- 
dination is made not only in the legend of Eve's creation 
out of the man's rib, but in the emphasis with which her 
name is declared to have been given her because she was the 
Mother of all living. In the variously significant legends 
of the Amazons they are said to have burned away their 
breasts that they might use the bow : in the history of 
contemporary Amazons — such as the female Areoi of 
Polynesia — the legend is interpreted in the systematic 
slaughter of their children. In the hunt, Meschia might 
be aided by Meschiane in many ways ; in dressing the 
garden Adam might find Lilith or Eve a * help meet ' for 
the work; but in the brutal regime of war the child dis- 
ables woman, and the affections of maternity render her 
man's inferior in the work of butchery. Herakles wins 

^ The martial and hunting customs of the German women, as well as their 
equality with men, may be traced in the vestiges of their decline. Hexe 
(witch) is from hag (forest) : the priestesses who carried the Broom of Thor 
were called Hagdissen. Before the seventeenth century the Hexe was called 
Drud or Trud (red folk, related to the Lightning-god). But the famous female 
hunters and warriors of Wodan, the Valkyries, were so called also ; and the 
preservation of the epithet (Trud) in the noble name Gertrude is a connecting 
link between the German Amazons and the political power so long maintained 
by women in the same country. Their office as priestesses probably marks a 
step downward from their outdoor equality. By this route, as priestesses of 
diabolised deities, they became witches ; but many folk-legends made these 
witches still great riders, and the Devil was said to transform and ride them 
as dapplegrey mares. The chief charge against the witches, that of carnal 
commerce with devils, is also significant. Like Lilith, women became devils' 
brides whenever they were not content with sitting at home wlih the distaff 
and the child. 


great glory by slaying Hyppolite ; but the legends of her 
later reappearances — as Libussa at Prague, &c., — follow the 
less mythological story of the Amazons given by Hero- 
dotus (IV. 112), who represents the Scythians as gradually 
disarming them by sending out their youths to meet them 
with dalliance instead of with weapons. The youths went 
off with their captured captors, and from their union sprang 
the Sauromatae, among whom the men and women dressed 
alike, and fought and hunted together. But of the real 
outcome of that truce and union Tennyson can tell us 
more than Herodotus : in his Princess we see the woman 
whom maternity and war have combined to produce, her 
independence betrayed by the tenderness of her nature. 
The surrender, once secured, was made permanent for ages 
by the sentiments and sympathies born of the child's 
appeal for compassion. 

In primitive ages the child must in many cases have 
been a burthen even to man in the struggle for existence ; 
the population question could hardly have failed to press 
its importance upon men, as it does even upon certain 
animals ; and it would be an especial interest to a man 
not to have his hut overrun with offspring not his own, — 
turning his fair labour into drudgery for their support, and 
so cursing the earth for him. Thus, while Polyandry was 
giving rise to the obvious complications under which it 
must ultimately disappear, it would be natural that devils 
of lust should be invented to restrain the maternal instinct. 
But as time went on the daughters of Eve would have 
taken the story of her fall and hardships too much to 
heart. The pangs and perils of childbirth were ever- 
present monitors whose warnings might be followed too 
closely. The early Jewish laws bear distinct traces of the 
necessity which had arrived for insisting on the command 
to increase and multiply. Under these changed circum- 


stances it would be natural that the story of a recusant 
and passionless Eve should arise and suffer the penalties 
undergone by Lilith, — the necessity of bearing, as captive, 
a vast progeny against her will only to lose them again, 
and to long for human children she did not bring forth and 
could not cherish. The too passionate and the passionless 
woman are successively warned in the origin and outcome 
of the myth.^ 

It is a suggestive fact that the descendants of Adam 
should trace their fall not to the independent Lilith, who 
asserted her equality at cost of becoming the Devil's bride, 
but to the apparently submissive Eve who stayed inside the 
garden. The serpent found out the guarded and restrained 
woman as well as the free and defiant, and with much 
more formidable results. For craft is the only weapon of 
the weak against the strong. The submissiveness of the 
captive woman must have been for a long time outward 
only. When Adam found himself among thorns and 
briars he might have questioned whether much had been 
gained by calling Eve his rib, when after all she really 
was a woman, and prepared to take her intellectual rights 
from the Serpent if denied her in legitimate ways. The 
question is, indeed, hardly out of date yet when the genius 
of woman is compelled to act with subtlety and reduced to 
exert its influence too often by intrigue. 

It is remarkable that we find something like a similar 
development to the two wives of Adam in Hindu mytho- 
logy also. Kdli and Diirga have the same origin : the 
former is represented dancing on the prostrate form of her 
* lord and master,* and she becomes the demoness of 
violence, the mother of the diabolical *Calas' of Singhalese 

^ Mr. W. B. Scott has painted a beautiful picture of Eve gazing up with 
-longing at a sweet babe in the tree, whose serpent coils beneath she does not 


demonolatry, Durga sacrificed herself for her husband's 
honour, and is now adored. The counterpart of Durga- 
worship is the Zenana system. In countries where the 
Zenana system has not survived, but some freedom has 
been gained for woman, it is probable that Kdli will pre- 
sently not be thought of as necessarily trampling on man, 
and Lilith not be r^arded as the Devil's wife because she 
will not submit to be the slave of man. When man can 
make him a home and garden which shall not be a prison, 
and in which knowledge is unforbidden fruit, Lilith will not 
have to seek her liberty by revolution against his society, 
nor Eve hers by intrigue ; unfitness for co-operation with 
the ferocities of nature will leave her a help meet for the 
rearing of children, and for the recovery and culture of 
every garden, whether within or without the man who now 
asserts over woman a lordship unnatural and unjust 

{ los ) 



The 'Other'— Tiamat, Bohu, 'the Deep'— Ra and Apophis— Hathors 
— Bel's combat — Revolt in Heaven— Li lith— Myth of the Devil 
at the creation of Light. 

In none of the ancient scriptures do we get back to any 
theory or explanation of the origin of evil or of the 
enemies of the gods. In a Persian text at Persepolis, of 
Darius L, Ahriman is called with simplicity *the Other' 
(Antya), SLTid 'the Hater' {Duvaisafit^ Zend t/iaisat), and 
that is about as much as we are really told about the 
devils of any race. Their existence is taken for granted. 
The legends of rebellion in heaven and of angels cast 
down and transformed to devils may supply an easy 
explanation to our modern theologians, but when we 
trace them to their origin we discover that to the ancients 
they had no such significance. The angels were cast 
down to Pits prepared for them from the foundation of 
the world, and before it, and when they fell it was into 
the hands of already existing enemies eager to torment 
them. Nevertheless these accounts of rebellious spirits in 
heaven are of great importance and merit our careful 

It is remarkable that the Bible opens with an intimation 
of the existence of this ' Other.' Its second verse speaks 
of a certain ' darkness upon the face of the deep.' The 
word used here is BohUy which is identified as the Assyrian 
Bahu^ the Queen of Hades. In the inscription of Shal- 

io6 TIAMAT. 

maneser the word is used for 'abyss of chaos.' ^ Bahu 
is otherwise Gula, a form of Ishtar or Allat, ' Lady of the 
House of Death/ and an epithet of the same female 
demon is Nin-cigal, * Lady of the Mighty Earth.' The 
story of the Descent of Ishtar into Hades, the realm of 
Nin-cigal, has already been told (p. Jj) ; in that version 
Ishtar is the same as Astarte, the Assyrian Venus. But 
like the moon with which she was associated she waned 
and declined, and the beautiful legend of her descent (like 
Persephone) into Hades seems to have found a variant in 
the myth of Bel and the Dragon. There she is a sea- 
monster and is called Tiamat (Thalatth of Berosus), — ^that 
is, 'the Deep/ over which rests the darkness described in 
Genesis i. 2. The process by which the moon would share 
the evil repute of Tiamat is obvious. In the Babylonian 
belief the dry land rested upon the abyss of watery chaos 
from which it was drawn. This underworld ocean was 
shut in by gates. They were opened when the moon was 
created to rule the night — therefore Prince of Darkness. 
The formation by Anu of this Moon-god (Uru) from 
Tiamat, might even have been suggested by the rising of 
the tides under his sway. The Babylonians represent 
the Moon as having been created before the Sun, and he 
emerged from *a boiling' in the abyss. 'At the beginning 
of the month, at the rising of the night, his horns are 
breaking through to shine on heaven.* * In the one 
Babylonian design, a seal in the British Museum,' which 
seems referable to the legend of the Fall of Man, the male 
figure has horns. It may have been that this male Moon 
(Uru) was supposed to have been corrupted by some 

^ ' Records of the Past/ iii. p. 83. See also i. p. 135. 
' * Chaldean Genesis,* by George Smith, p. 70. 

' Copied in 'Chald. Gen./ p. 91. As to the connection of this design with 
the lej^end of Eden, see chap. vii. of this volume.' 

THE DEEP, 107 

female emanation of Tiamat, and to have fallen from a 
* ruler of the night ' to an ally of the night. This female 
corrupter, who would correspond to Eve, might in this 
way have become mistress of the Moon, and ultimately 
identified with it. 

Although the cause of the original conflict between the 
Abyss beneath and the Heaven above is left by ancient 
inscriptions and scriptures to imagination, it is not a very 
strained hypothesis that ancient Chaos regarded the upper 
gods as aggressors on her domain in the work of creation. 
'When above,' runs the Babylonian legend, 'were not 
raised the heavens, and below on the earth a plant had 
not grown . . . the chaos (or water) Tiamat was the pro- 
ducing mother of the whole of them.' * The gods had not 
sprung up, any one of them.' ^ Indeed in the legend of the 
conflict between Bel and the Dragon, on the Babylonian 
cylinders, it appears that the god Sar addressed her as 
wife, and said, 'The tribute to thy maternity shall be 
forced upon them by thy weapons.' * The Sun and Moon 
would naturally be drawn into any contest between Over- 
world (with Light) and Underworld (with Darkness). 

Though Tiamat is called a Dragon, she was pictured by 
the Babylonians only as a monstrous Griffin. In the 
Assyrian account of the fight it will be seen that she is 
called a 'Serpent' The link between the two^Griffin 
and Serpent — will be found, I suspect, in Typhonic 
influence on the fable. In a hymn to Amen-Ra (the Sun), 
copied about fourteenth century B.C. from an earlier com- 
position, as its translator, Mr. Goodwin, supposes, we have 
the following : — 

The gods rejoice in his goodness who exalts those who are lowly : 

Lord of the boat and barge. 

They conduct thee through the firmament in peace. 

^ * Chaldean Genesis, • pp. 62, 63. * lb., 97. 


Thy servants rejoice : 
Beholding the overthrow of the wicked : 
His limbs pierced with the sword : 
Fire consumes him : 
His soul and body are annihilated. 

Naka (the serpent) saves his feet : 
The gods rejoice : 
The servants of the Sun are in peace. 

The allusion in the second line indicates that this hymn 
relates to the navigation of Ra through Hades, and the 
destruction of Apophis. 

We may read next the Accadian tablet (p. 256) which 
speaks of the seven Hathors as neither male nor female, 
and as born in * the Deep.' 

Another Accadian tablet, translated by Mr. Sayce, 
speaks of these as the * baleful seven destroyers ; * as 
' born in the mountain of the sunset;' as being Incubi. 
It is significantly said : — 'Among the stars of heaven their 
watch they kept not, in watching was their office.' Here 
is a primaeval note of treachery.* 

We next come to a further phase, represented in a 
Cuneiform tablet, which must be quoted at length : — 

Days of storm, Powers of Evil, 

Rebellious spirits, who were born in the lower part of heaven. 

They were workers of calamity. 

(The lines giving the names and descriptions of the 
spirits are here broken.) 

The third was like a leopard, 

The fourth was like a snake. . . . 

The fifih was like a dog . . . 

The sixth was an enemy to heaven and its king. 

The seventh was a destructive tempest. 

These seven are the messengers of Anu * their king. 

* * Records of the Past,' ix. 141. 

• Anu was the ruler of the highest heaven. Meteors and lightnings are 
similarly considered in Hebrew poetry as the messengers of the Almighty. 
(Psalm civ. 4, 'Who maketh his ministers a flaming Jire,* c^oX&i in Heb. L 7.) 


From place to place by turns they pass. 

They are the dark storms in heaven, which into fire unite themselves. 

They are the destructive tempests, which on a fine day sudden dark- 
ness cause. 

With storms and meteors they rush. 

Their rage ignites the thunderbolts of Im.* 

From the right hand of the Thunderer they dart forth. 

On the horizon of heaven like lightning they . . . 

Against high heaven, the dwelling-place of Anu the king, they plotted 
evil, and had none to withstand them. 

When Bel heard this news, he communed secretly with his own heart 

Then he took counsel with Hea the great Inventor (or Sage) of the 

And they stationed the Moon, the Sun, and Ishtar to keep guard over 
the approach to heaven. 

Unto Anu, ruler of heaven, they told it 

And those three gods, his children. 

To watch night and day unceasingly he commanded them. 

When those seven evil spirits rushed upon the base of heaven, 

And close in front of the Moon with fiery weapons advanced, 

Then the noble Sun and Im the warrior side by side stood firm. 

But Ishtar, with Anu the king, entered the exalted dwelling, and hid 
themselves in the summit of heaven. 

Column II. 

Those evil spirits, the messengers of Anu their king . . . 

They have plotted evil . . . 

From mid-heaven like meteors they have rushed upon the earth. 

Bel, who the noble Moon in eclipse 

Saw from heaven, 

Called aloud to Paku his messenger : 

O my messenger Paku, carry my words to the Deep.' 

Tell my son that the Moon in heaven is terribly eclipsed ! 

To Hea in the Deep repeat this ! 

Paku understood the words of his Lord. 

Unto Hea in the Deep swiftly he went. 

To the Lord, the great Inventor, the god Nukimmut, 

Paku repeated the words of his Lord. 

^ Im, the god of the sky, sometimes called Rimmon (the Thunderer). He 
answers to the Jupiter Tonans of the Latins. 
' The abyss 'or ocean where the god Hea dwelt 


When Hea in the Deep heard these words, 

He bit his lips, and tears bedewed his face. 

Then he sent for his son Marduk to help him. 

Go to my son Marduk, 

Tell my son that the Moon in heaven is terribly eclipsed I 

That eclipse has been seen in heaven ! 

They are seven, those evil spirits, and death they fear not ! 

They are seven, those evil spirits, who rush like a hurricane, 

And fall like firebrands on the earth ! 

In front of the bright Moon with fiery weapons {they draw nigh) ; 

But the noble Sun and Im the warrior (are withstanding them). 

[The rest of the legend is lost] 

Nukimmut is a name of Hea which occurs frequently : 
he was the good genius of the earth, and his son Marduk 
was his incarnation — ^a Herakles or Saviour. It will be 
noted that as yet Ishtar is in heaven. The next Tablet, 
which shows the development of the myth, introduces 
us to the great female dragon Tiamat herself, and her 
destroyer Bel. 

. . . And with it his right hand he armed. 
His flaming sword he raised in his hand. 
He brandished his lightnings before him. 
A curved scymitar he carried on his body. 
And he made a sword to destroy the Dragon, 
Which turned four ways ; so that none could avoid its rapid blows. 
It turned to the south, to the north, to the east, and to the west. 
Near to his sabre he placed the bow of his father Anu. 
He made a whirling thunderbolt, and a bolt with double flames, 
impossible to extinguish. 

And a quadruple bolt, and a septuple bolt, and a . . . bolt. of crooked 

He took the thunderbolts which he had made, and there were seven 

of them, 
To be shot at the Dragon, and he put them into his quiver behind 

Then he raised his great sword, whose name was 'Lord of the 

He mounted his chariot, whose name was * Destroyer of the Impious. 
He took his place, and lifted the four reins 
In his hand. 


[Bel now offers to the Dragon to decide their quarrel by 
single combat, which the Dragon accepts. This agrees 
with the representations of the combat on Babylonian 
cylinders in Mr. Smith's ' Chaldean Genesis,* p. 62^ etc.] 

(Why seekest thou thus) to irritate me with blasphemies ? 

Let thy army withdraw : let thy chiefs stand aside : 

Then I and thou (alone) we will do battle. 

When the Dragon heard this, 

Stand back ! she said, and repeated her command. 

Then the tempter rose watchfully on high. 

Turning and twisting, she shifted her standing pointt 

She watched his lightnings, she provided for retreat. 

The warrior angels sheathed their swords. 

Then the Dragon attacked the just Prince of the gods. 

Strongly they joined in the trial of battle. 

The King drew his sword, and dealt rapid blows, 

Then be took his whirling thunderbolt, and looked well behind 

and before him : 
And when the Dragon opened her mouth to swallow him, 
He flung the bolt into her, before she could shut her lips. 
The blazing lightning poured into her inside. 
He pulled out her heart ; her mouth he rent open ; 
He drew his (falchion), and cut open her belly. 
He cut into her inside and extracted her heart ; 
He took vengeance on her, and destroyed her life. 
When he knew she was dead he boasted over her. 
After that the Dragon their leader was slain, 
Her troops took to flight : her army was scattered abroad, 
And the angels her allies, who had come to help her. 
Retreated, grew quiet, and went away. 
They fled from thence, fearing for their own lives, 
And saved themselves, flying to places beyond pursuit. 
He followed them, their weapons he broke up. 
Broken they lay, and in great heaps they were captured. 
A crowd of followers, full of astonishment, 
Its remains lifted up, and on their shoulders hoisted. 
And the eleven tribes pouring in after the battle 
In great multitudes, coming to see. 
Gazed at the monstrous serpent . . . 

In the fragment just quoted we have the 'flaming sword 
which turned every way' (Gen. iii. 24). The seven distinct 


forms of evil are but faintly remembered in the seven 
thunderbolts taken by Bel : they are now all virtually 
gathered into the one form he combats, and are thus 
on their way to form the seven-headed dragon of the Apo- 
calypse, where Michael replaces Bel.^ * The angels, her 
allies who had come to help her,' are surely that * third 
part of the stars of heaven ' which the apocalyptic dragon's 
tail drew to the earth in its fall (Rev. xii. 4). Bel's dragon 
is also called a * Tempter.' 

At length we reach the brief but clear account of the 
* Revolt in Heaven' found in a cuneiform tablet in the 
British Museum, and translated by Mr. Fox Talbot : * — 

The Divine Being spoke three times, the commencement of a psalm. 

The god of holy songs, Lord of religion and worship 

seated a thousand singers and musicians : and established a choral 

who to his hymn were to respond in multitudes . . . 

With a loud cry of contempt they broke up his holy song 
spoiling, confusing, confounding his hymn of praise. 

The god of the bright crown with a wish to summon his adherents 
sounded a trumpet blast which would wake the dead, 
which to those rebel angels prohibited return. 

he stopped their service, and sent them to the gods who were his 

In their room he created mankind. 

The first who received life, dwelt along with him. 

May he give them strength never to neglect his word, 
following the serpent's voice, whom his hands had made. 

And may the god of divine speech expel from his five thousand 
that wicked thousand 
who in the midst of his heavenly song had shouted evil blasphemies ! 

It will be observed that there were already hostile gods 
to whom these riotous angels were sent. It is clear that in 
both the Egyptian and Assyrian cosmogonies the upper 

^ The late Mr. G. Smith sa3rs that the Chaldean dragon was seven-headed. 
'Chaldean Genesis,' p. loo. 
* * Records of the Past,' vii. 123. 


gods had in their employ many ferocious monsters. Thus 
in the Book of Hades, Horus addresses a terrible serpent : 
'My Kheti, great fire, of which this flame in my eye is the 
emission, and of which my children guard the folds, open 
thy mouth, draw wide thy jaws, launch thy flame against 
the enemies of my father, burn their bodies, consume 
their souls !^ Many such instances could be quoted. In 
this same book we find a great serpent, Saa-Set, * Guardian • 
of the Earth.' Each of the twelve pylons of Hades is 
surmounted by its serpent-guards — except one. What has 
become of that one } In the last inscription but one, 
quoted in full, it will be observed (third line from the last) 
that eleven (angel) tribes came in after Bel's battle to 
inspect the slain dragon. The twelfth had revolted. These, 
we may suppose, had listened to * the serpent's voice ' men- 
tioned in the last fragment quoted. 

We have thus distributed through these fragments all 
the elements which, from Egyptian and Assyrian sources* 
gathered around the legend of the Serpent in Eden. The 
Tree of Knowledge and that of Life are not included, and 
I have given elsewhere my reasons for believing these to 
be importations from the ancient Aryan legend of the war 
between the Devas and Asuras for the immortalising 
Amrita. ^ 

In the last fragment quoted we have also a notable 
statement, that mankind were created to fill the places that 
had been occupied by the fallen angels. It is probable 
that this notion supplied the basis of a class of legends 
of which Lilith is type. She whose place Eve was created 
to fill was a serpent-woman, and the earliest mention of her 
is in the exorcism already quoted, found at Nineveh. In all 
probability she is but another form of Gula, the fallen Istar 
and Queen of Hades ; in which case her conspiracy with 

* * Records of the Past,' x. 127. 


the serpent Samael would be the Darkness which was 
upon the face of Bahu, * the Deep/ in the second verse of 
the Bible. " 

The Bible opens with the scene of the gods conquering 
the Dragon of Darkness with Light There is a rabbi- 
nical legend, that when Light issued from under the throne 
of God, the Prince of Darkness asked the Creator where- 
fore he had brought Light into existence ? God answered 
that it was in order that he might be driven back to his 
abode of darkness. The evil one asked that he might see 
that ; and entering the stream of Light, he saw across time 
and the world, and beheld the face of the Messiah. Then 
he fell upon his face and cried, * This is he who shall lay- 
low in ruin me and all the inhabitants of hell !' 

What the Prince of Darkness saw was the vision of a 
race : beginning with the words (Gen. i. 3, 4), * God said, 
Let there be Light ; and there was Light ; and God saw 
the Light that it was good ; and God divided between 
the Light and the Darkness;' ending with Rev. xx. i, 2, 
* And I saw an angel come down from heaven having the 
key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. 
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which 
is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.' 

( "5 ) 



The Abode of Devils — Ketef — Disorder — Talmudic legends — The 
restless Spirit — The Fall of Lucifer — Asteria, Hecate, Lilith — 
The Dragon's triumph — A Gipsy legend — Caedmon's Poem of 
the Rebellious Angels — Milton's version — The Puritans and 
Prince Rupert — Bel as ally of the Dragon — A * Mystery ' in 
Marionettes — European Hells. 

' Rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them I Woe 
to the earth and the sea ! for the devil is come down to 
you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath 
but a short time.' This passage from the Book of Revela- 
tions is the refrain of many and much earlier scriptures. 
The Assyrian accounts of the war in heaven, given in the 
preceding chapter, by no means generally support the 
story that the archdragon was slain by Bel. Even the one 
that does describe the chief dragon's death leaves her 
comrades alive, and the balance of testimony is largely in 
favour of the theory which prevailed, that the rebellious 
angels were merely cast out of heaven, and went to swell 
the ranks of the dark and fearful abode which from the 
beginning had been peopled by the enemies of the gods. 
The nature of this abode is described in various passages 
of the Bible, and in many traditions. 

' Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the 
inhabitants of the land,' So said Jeremiah (i. 14), in pur- 
suance of nearly universal traditions as to the region of 

ii6 KETEF. 

space in which demons and devils had their abode. ' Hell 
is naked before him/ says Job (xxvi. 6), * and destruction 
hath no covering. He stretcheth out the north over the 
empty place/ According to the Hebrew mythology this 
habitation of demons was a realm of perpetual cold and 
midnight, which Jehovah, in creating the world, purposely 
left chaotic; so it was prepared for the Devil and his 
angels at the foundation of the world. 

Although this northern hell was a region of disorder, so 
far as the people of Jehovah and the divine domain were 
concerned, they had among themselves a strong military 
and aristocratic government. It was disorder perfectly 
systematised. The anarchical atmosphere of the region is 
reflected in the abnormal structures ascribed to the manv 
devils with whose traits Jewish and Arabic folklore is 
familiar, and which are too numerous to be described here. 
Such adevil, for instance, is Bedargon, 'hand-high,' with fifty 
heads and fifty-six hearts, who cannot strike any one or be 
struck, instant death ensuing to either party in such an 
attack. A more dangerous devil is Ketef, identified as 
the 'terror from the chambers' alluded to by Jeremiah 
(xxxii. 25), 'Bitter Pestilence/ His name is said to be 
from kataf^ * cut and split,' because he divides the course 
of the day ; and those who are interested to compare 
Hebrew and Hindu myths may find it interesting to note 
the coincidences between Ketef and Ketu, the cut-oflf 
tail of Rclhu, and source of pestilence.^ Ketef reigns 
neither in the dark or day, but between the two; his 
power over the year is limited to the time between June 17 
and July 9, during which it was considered dangerous 
to flog children or let them go out after four p.m. 
Ketef is calf-headed, and consists of hide, hair, and eyes ; 
he rolls like a cask ; he has a terrible horn, but his chief 

^ See L pp. 46 and 255. Concerning Ketef see Eisenmenger, ii. p. 435. 


terror lies in an evil eye fixed in his heart which none can 
see without instant death. The arch-fiend who reigns over 
the infernal host has many Court Fools — probably meteors 
and comets — who lead men astray. 

All these devils have their regulations in their own 
domain, but, as we have said, their laws mean disorder in 
that part of the universe which belongs to the family of 
Jehovah. In flying about the world they are limited to 
places which are still chaotic or waste. They haunt such 
congenial spots as rocks and ruins, and frequent desert, 
wilderness, dark mountains, and the ruins of human habi- 
tations. They can take possession of a wandering star. 

There is a pretty Talmudic legend of a devil having 
once gone to sleep, when some one, not seeing him of 
course, set down a cask of wine on his ears. In leaping 
up the devil broke the cask, and being tried for it, was 
condemned to repay the damage at a certain period. The 
period having elapsed before the money was brought, the 
devil was asked the cause of the delay. He replied that 
it was very difficult for devils to obtain money, because 
men were careful to keep it locked or tied up ; and ' we 
have no power,' he said, ' to take from anything bound or 
sealed up, nor can we take anything that is measured or 
counted ; we are permitted to take only what is free or 

According to one legend the devils were specially 
angered, because Jehovah, when he created man, gave 
him dominion over things in the sea (Gen. i. 28), that 
being a realm of unrest and tempest which they claimed 
as belonging to themselves. They were denied control of 
the life that is in the sea, though permitted a large degree 
of power over its waters. Over the winds their rule was 
supreme, and it was only by reducing certain demons to 
slavery that Solomon was able to ride in a wind-chariot. 

Out of these several realms of order and disorder in 


nature were evolved the angels and the devils which were 
supposed to beset man. The" first man is said to have 
been like an angel. From the instant of his creation 
there attended him two spirits, whom the rabbins found 
shadowed out in the sentence, * Jehovah-Elohim formed 
man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his 
nostrils the breath of life ; and man became a living soul ' 
' (Gen. ii. 7). This * breath of life ' was a holy spirit, and 
stood on Adam's right ; the ' living soul ' was a restless 
spirit on his left, which continually moved up and down. 
When Adam had sinned, this restless spirit became a 
diabolical spirit, and it has ever acted as mediator be- 
tween man and the realm of anarchy. 

It has been mentioned that in the Assyrian legends of 
the Revolt in Heaven we find no adequate intimation of 
the motive by which the rebels were actuated. It is said 
they interrupted the heavenly song, that they brought on 
an eclipse, that they afflicted human beings with disease; 
but why they did all this is not stated. The motive of 
the serpent in tempting Eve is not stated in Genesis. The 
theory which Caedmon and Milton have made so familiar, 
that the dragons aspired to rival Jehovah, and usurp the 
throne of Heaven, must, however, have been already 
popular in the time of Isaiah. In his rhapsody concern- 
ing the fall of Babylon, he takes his rhetoric from the 
story of Bel and the Dragon, and turns a legend, as 
familiar to every Babylonian as that of St George and 
the Dragon now is to Englishmen, into an illustration of 
their own doom. The invective is directed against the 
King of Babylon, consequently the sex of the devil is 
changed ; but the most remarkable change is in the 
ascription to Lucifer of a clear purpose to rival the Most 
High, and seize the throne of heaven. 

' Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at 
thy coming, it stirreth up the (spirits of) the dead, even 


all the chief ones (great goats) of the earth : it hath raised 
up from their thrones all the kings of the nations (demon- 
begotten aliens). All these shall say unto thee, Art thou 
also become weak as we ? Art thou become like unto us ? 
Thy splendour is brought down to the underworld, and 
the noise of thy viols : the worm is spread under thee, and 
the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen, O Lucifer 
(Daystar), son of the morning ! how art thou cut down to 
the ground which didst weaken the nations I For thou 
hast said in thy heart, I will ascend into (the upper) 
heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars (arch- 
angels) of God : I will sit (reign) also upon the mount of 
the congregation (the assembly of the enemies of God) in 
the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights 
of the clouds (the thunder-throne of Jehovah) ; I will be 


like the Most High. Yet shalt thou be brought down to 
hell, to the sides of the pit' ^ 

In this passage we mark the arena of the combat 
shifted from heaven to earth. It is not the throne of 
heaven but that of the world at which the fiends now aim. 
Nay, there is confession in every line of the prophecy that 
the enemy of Jehovah has usurped his throne. Hell has 
prevailed, and Lucifer is the Prince of this World. The 
celestial success has not been maintained on earth. This 
would be the obvious fact to a humiliated, oppressed, 

^ Isaiah xiv. It may appear as if in this personification of a fallen star we 
have entered a different mythological region from that represented by the 
Assyrian tablets ; but it is not so. The demoniac forms of Ishtar, Astarte, are 
fallen stars also. She appears in Greece as Artemis Astrateia, whose worship 
Pausanias mentions as coming from the East. Her development is through 
Asteria (Greek form of Ishtar), in whose myth is hidden much valuable 
Babylonian lore. Asteria was said to have thrown herself into the sea, and 
been changed into the island called Asteria, fr9m its having fallen like a star 
from heaven. Her suicide was to escape from the embraces of Zeus, and her 
escape from him in form of a quail, as well as her fate, may be instructively 
compared with the story of Lilith, who flew out of Eden on wings to escape 
from Adam, and made an effort to drown herself in the Red Sea. The 


heavily-taxed people, who believed themselves the one 
family on earth sprung from Jehovah, and their masters 
the offspring of demons. This situation gave to the vague 
traditions of a single combat between Bel and the Dragon* 
about an eclipse or a riot, the significance which it retained 
ever afterward of a mighty conflict on earth between the 
realms of Light and Darkness, between which the Elohim 
had set a boundary-line (Gen. i. 4) in the beginning. 

A similar situation returned when the Jews were under 
the sway of Rome, and then all that had ever been said of 
Babylon was repeated against Rome under the name of 
Edom. It recurred in the case of those Jews who acknow- 
ledged Jesus as their Messiah : in the pomp and glory of 
the Caesars they beheld the triumph of the Powers of 
Darkness, and the burthen of Isaiah against Lucifer was 
raised again in that of the Apocalypse against the seven- 
headed Dragon. It is notable how these writers left out 
of sight the myth of Eden so far as it did not belong to 
their race. Isaiah does not say anything even of the 
serpent The Apocalypse says nothing of the two won- 
derful trees, and the serpent appears only as a Dragon from 
whom the woman is escaping, by whom she is not at all 
tempted. The shape of the Devil, and the Combat with 
him, have always been determined by dangers and evils 
that are actual, not such as are archaeological. 

diabolisation of Asteria (the fallen star) was through her daughter Hecate. 
Hecate was the female Titan who was the most potent ally of the gods. Her 
rule was supreme under Zeus, and all the gifts valued by mortals were 
believed to proceed from her ; but she was severely judicial, and rigidly with- 
held all blessings from such as did not deserve them. Thus she was, as the 
searching eye of Zeus, a star-spy upon earth. Such spies, as we have 
repeatedly had occasion to mention in this work, are normally developed into 
devils. From professional detectives they become accusers and instigators. 
Ishtar of the Babylonians, Asteria of the Greeks, and the Day-star of the 
Hebrews are male and female forms of the same personification : Hecate 
with her torch (?icotoj, * far-shooting ') and Lucifer {*light-bringer' on the 
deeds of darkness) are the same in their degradation. 


A gipsy near Edinburgh gave me his version of the 
combat between God and Satan as follows. ' When God 
created the universe and all things in it, Satan tried to 
create a rival universe. He managed to match everything 
pretty well except man. There he failed; and God to 
punish his pride cast him down to the earth and bound 
him with a chain. But this chain was so long that Satan 
was able to move over the whole face of the earth ! ' 
There had got into this wanderer's head some bit of the 
Babylonian story, and it was mingled with Gnostic tra- 
ditions about Ildabaoth; but there was also a quaint 
suggestion in Satan's long chain of the migration of this 
mythical combat not only round the world, but through 
the ages. 

The early followers of Christ came before the glories of 
Paganism with the legend that the lowly should inherit 
the earth. And though they speedily surrendered to the 
rulers of the world in Rome, and made themselves into 
a christian aristocracy, when they came into Northern 
Europe the christians were again brought to confront with 
an humble system the religion of thrones and warriors. 
St Gatien celebrating mass in a cavern beside the Loire, 
meant as much weakness in presence of Paganism as the 
Huguenots felt twelve centuries later hiding in the like 
caverns from St. Gatien's priestly successors. 

The burthen of Isaiah is heard again, and with realistic 
intensity, in the seventh century, and in the north, with our 
patriarchial poet Caedmon. 

The All-powerful had 


Through might of hand. 

The holy Lord, 

Ten established. 

In whom he trusted well 

That they his service 


Would follow, 

Work his will ; 

Therefore gave he them wit, 

And shaped them with his hands, 

The holy Lord. 

He had placed them so happily, 

One he had made so powerful. 

So mighty in his mind's thought, 

He let him sway over so much. 

Highest after himself in heaven's kingdom. 

He had made him so fair, 

So beauteous was his form in heaven, 

That came to him from the Lord of hosts. 

He was like to the light stars. 

It was his to work the praise of the Lord, 

It was his to hold dear his joys in heaven, 

And to thank his Lord 

For the reward that he had bestowed on him in that light ; 

Then had he let him long possess it ; 

But he turned it for himself to a worse thing, 

Began to raise war upon him, 

Against the highest Ruler of heaven, 

Who sitteth in the holy seat. 

Dear was he to our Lord, 

But it might not be hidden from him 

That his angel began 

To be presumptuous, 

Raised himself against his Master, 

Sought speech of hate. 

Words of pride towards him, 

Would not serve God, 

Said that his body was 

Light and beauteous. 

Fair and bright of hue : 

He might not find in his mind 

That he would God 

In subjection, 

His Lord, serve : 

Seemed to himself 

That he a power and force 

Had greater 

Than the holy God 

Could have 


Of adherents. 

Many words spake 

The angel of presumption : 

Thought, through his own power, 

How he for himself a stronger 

Seat might make, 

Higher in heaven : 

Said that him his mind impelled, 

That he west and north 

Would begin to work. 

Would prepare structures : 

Said it to him seemed doubtful 

That he to God would 

Be a vassal. 

'Why shall I toil?' said he; 

' To me it is no whit needfuL 

To have a superior ; 

I can with my hands as many 

Wonders work ; 

I have great power 

To form 

A diviner throne, 

A higher in heaven. 

Why shall I for his favour serve, 

Bend to him in such vassalage ? 

I may be a god as he 

Stand by me strong associates, 

Who will not fail me in the strife, 

Heroes stern of mood, 

They have chosen me for chief, 

Renowned warriors 1 

With such may one devise counsel, 

With such capture his adherents ; 

They are my zealous friends, 

Faithful in their thoughts ; 

I may be their chieftain, 

Sway in this realm : 

Thus to me it seemeth not right 

That I in aught 

Need cringe 

To God for any good ; 

I will no longer be his vassal.' 

When the All-powerful it 


All had heard, 

That his angel devised 

Great presumption 

To raise up against his Master, 

And spake proud words 

Foolishly against his Lord, 

Then must he expiate the deed, 

Share the work of war, 

And for his punishment must have 

Of all deadly ills the greatest. 

So doth every man 

Who against his Lord 

Deviseth to war, 

With crime against the great Ruler. 

Then as the Mighty angry ; 

The highest Ruler of heaven 

Hurled him from the lofty seat ; 

Hate had he gained at his Lord, 

His favour he had lost. 

Incensed with him was the Good in his mind, 

Therefore must he seek the gulf 

Of hard hell-torment, 

For that he had warred with heaven's Ruler, 

He rejected him then from his favour, 

And cast him into hell. 

Into the deep parts, 

Where he became a devil : 

The fiend with all his comrades 

Fell then from heaven above. 

Through as long as three nights and days. 

The angels from heaven into hell ; 

And them all the Lord transformed to devils. 

Because they his deed and word 

Would not revere ; 

Therefore them in a worse light, 

Under the earth beneath^ 

Almighty God 

Had placed triumphless 

In the swart hell ; 

There they have at even, 

Immeasurably long. 

Each of all the fiends, 

A renewal of fire ; 


Then cometh ere dawn 

The eastern wind. 

Frost bitter-cold, 

Ever fire or dart ; 

Some hard torment 

They must have. 

It was wrought for them in punishment, 

Their world was changed : 

For their sinful course 

He filled hell 

With the apostates. 

Whether this spirited description was written by Caed- 
mon, and whether it is of his century, are questions unim- 
portant to the present inquiry. The poem represents a 
mediaeval notion which long prevailed, and which charac- 
terised the Mysteries, that Satan and his comrades were 
humiliated from the highest angelic rank to a hell already 

Fig. 3.— Satak Punishbd. 

prepared and peopled with devils, and were there, and by 
those devils, severely punished. One of the illuminations 
of the Caedmon manuscript, preserved in the Bodleian 
Library, shows Satan undergoing his torment (Fig. 3). 


He is bound over something like a gridiron, and four 
devils are torturing him, the largest using a scourge with 
six prongs. His face manifests great suffering. His form 
is mainly human, but his bushy tail and animal feet indi- 
cate that he has been transformed to a devil similar to 
those who chastise him. 

On Caedmon's foundation Milton built his gorgeous 
edifice. His Satan is an ambitious and very Engh'sh lord, 
in whom are reflected the whole aristocracy of England in 
their hatred and contempt of the holy Puritan Common- 
wealth, the Church of Christ as he deemed it. The ages 
had brought round a similar situation to that which con- 
fronted the Jews at Babylon, the early christians of Rome, 
and their missionaries among the proud pagan princes of 
the north. The Church had long allied itself with the 
earlier Lucifers of the north, and now represented the 
proud empire of a satanic aristocracy, and the persecuted 
Nonconformists represented the authority of the King of 
kings. In the English palace, and in the throne of 
Canterbury, Milton saw his Beelzebub and his Satan. 

Th' infernal serpent ; he it was, whose guile, 
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived 
The mother of mankind, what time his pride 
Had cast him out from heaven, with all his host 
Of rebel angels, by whose aid aspiring 
To set himself in glory above his peers 
He trusted to have equaled the Most High, 
If he opposed ; and with ambitious aim 
Against the throne and monarchy of God 
Raised impious war in heav'n, and battle proud, 
With vain attempt. Him the almighty Power 
Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky. 
With hideous ruin and combustion, down 
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell 
In adamantine chains and penal fire, 
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms.^ 

* * Paradise Lost,' i. 40-50. 


This adaptation of the imagery of Isaiah concerning 
Lucifer has in it all the thunder hurled by Cromwell 
against Charles. Even a Puritan poet might not alto- 
gether repress admiration for the dash and daring of a 
Prince Rupert, to which indeed even his prosaic co- 
religionists paid the compliment of ascribing to it a 
diabolical source.^ Not amid conflicts that raged in 
ancient Syria broke forth such lines as — 

Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n. 
• ••••• 

With rallied arms to try what may be yet 
Regained in heav'n, or what more lost in hell. 

The Bel whom Milton saw was Cromwell, and the 
Dragon that serpent of English oppression which the Dic- 
tator is trampling on in a well-known engraving of his 
time. In the history of the Reformation the old legend 
did manifold duty again, as in the picture (Fig. 13) by 
Luther's friend Lucas Cranach. 

It would seem that in the course of time Bel and the 
Dragon became sufficiently close allies for their wor- 

^ And foremost rides Prince Rupert, darling of fortune and of war, with 
his beautiful and thoughtful face of twenty-three, stem and bronzed already, 
yet beardless and dimpled, his dark and passionate eyes, his long love-locks 
drooping over costly embroidery, his graceful scarlet cloak, his white-plumed 
hat, and his tall and stately form. His high-bom beauty is preserved to us 
for ever on the canvas t>f Vandyck, and as the Italians have named the artist 
'II Pittore Cavalieresco,' so will this subject of his skill remain for ever the 
ideal of II Cavaliere Pittoresco. And as he now rides at the head of this 
brilliant array, his beautiful white dog bounds onward joyously beside him, 
that quadruped renowned in the pamphlets of the time, whose snowy skin has 
been stained by many a blood-drop in the desperate forays of his master, but 
who has thus far escaped so safely that the Puritans believe him a familiar 
spirit, and try to destroy him 'bypo3rson and extempore prayer, which yet 
hart him no more than the plague plaster did Mr. Pym.' Failing in this, 
they pronounce the pretty creature to be 'a divell, not a very downright 
dtvell, but some Lapland ladye, once by nature a handsome white ladye, now 
by art a handsome white dogge.' — A Charge with Prince Rupert, CoL Hig- 
ginson's 'Atlantic Essays.' 


shippers to feed and defend them both with equal devo- 
tion, and for Daniel to explode them both in carrying on 
the fight of his deity against the gods of Babylon, This 
story of Bel is apocryphal as to the canon, but highly 
significant as to the history we are now considering. 
Although the Jews maintained their struggle against 
' principalities and powers ' long after it had been a 
forlorn hope, and never surrendered, nor made alliance 
with the Dragon, the same cannot be said of those who 
appropriated their title of * the chosen of God,' counter- 
feited their covenant, and travestied their traditions. The 
alliance of Christianity and the Dragon has not been 
nominal, but fearfully real. In fulfilling their mission of 
* inheriting the earth,' the * meek ' called around them and 
pressed into their service agents and weapons more dia- 
bolical than any with which the Oriental imagination had 
peopled the abode of devils in the north. 

At a Fair in Tours (August 1878) I saw two exhibi- 
tions which were impressive enough in the light they cast 
through history. One was a shrunken and sufficiently 
grotesque production by puppets of the Mediaeval ' My- 
stery' of Hell. Nearly every old scheme and vision of 
the underworld was represented in the scene. The three 
Judges sat to hear each case. A devil rang a bell when- 
ever any culprit appeared at the gate. The accused was 
ushered in by a winged devil — Satan, the Accuser — who, 
by the show-woman's lips, stated the charges against each 
with an eager desire to make him or her out as wicked as 
possible. A devil with pitchfork received the sentenced, 
and shoved them down into a furnace. There was an 
array of brilliant dragons around, but they appeared to 
have nothing to do beyond enjoying the spectacle. But 
this exhibition which was styled * Twenty minutes in Hell/ 
was poor and faint beside the neighbouring exhibition of 


the real Hell, in which Europe had been tortured for 
fifteen centuries. Some industrious Germans had got 
together in one large room several hundreds of the in- 
struments of torture by which the nations of the West 
were persuaded to embrace Christianity. Every limb, 
sinew, feature, bone, and nerve of the human frame had 
suggested to christian inventiveness some ingenious device 
by which it might be tortured. Wheels on which to break 
bones, chairs of anguish, thumbscrews, the iron Virgin 
whose embrace pierced through every vital part; the 
hunger-mask which renewed for Christ's sake the exact 
torment of Tantalus ; even the machine which bore the 
very name of the enemy that was cast down — the Dragon's 
Head I By such instrumentalities came those quasi- 
miraculous 'Triumphs of the Cross,' of which so much 
has been said and sung! The most salient phenomenon 
of christian history is the steady triumph of the Dragon. 
Misleader and Deceiver to the last, he is quite willing to 
sprinkle his fork and rack with holy water, to cross him- 
self, to label his caldrons * divine justice,* to write CHRIST 
upon his forehead ; by so doing he was able to spring his 
infernal engine on the best nations, and cow the strongest 
hearts, till from their pallid lips were wrung the * confes- 
sions of faith,' or the last cry of martyred truth. So was 
he able to assault the pure heavens once more, to quench 
the stars of human faith and hope, and generate a race 
of polite, learned, and civilised hypocrites. But the ancient 
sunbeams are after him : the mandate has again gone forth, 
' Let there be light,' and the Light that now breaks forth 
is not of that kind which respects the limit of Darkness. 


( 130 ) 



Hebrew god of War— Samagl — The fathei's blessing and curs< 
Esau — Edom— Jacob and the Phantom — The planet Mars — 
Tradesman and Huntsman—' The Devil's Dreiun.' 

Who is this that cometh from Edom, 
In dyed garments from Bozrah ? 
This that is glorious in his apparel, 
Travelling in the greatness of his strength ? 
I who promise deliverance, mighty to save. 

Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, 
And thy garments like him that treadeth the wine-vat ? 

I have trodden the wine-press alone ; 
And of the peoples there was none with me : 
And I will tread them in mine anger, 
And trample them in my fury ; 

And their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, 
And I will stain all my raiment. 
For the day of vengeance is in my heart. 
And the year of mine avenged is come. 
And I looked, and there was none to help ; 
And I wondered that there was none to uphold ; 
Therefore mine own arm gained me the victory, 
And mine own fury» it upheld me. 
And I will tread down the peoples in mine anger, 
And make them drunk in my wrath. 
And will bring down their strength to the earth.^ 

This is the picture of the god of War. Upon it the 
comment in Entek Hammelech is: 'The colour of the 
godless Samael and of all his princes and lords has the 

^ I&a. Ixiii. 1-6. 

SAMj4£L. 131 

aspect of red fire ; and all their emanations are red. 
Samael is red, also his horse, his sword, his raiment, and 
the ground beneath him, are red. In the future the Holy 
God shall wear his raiment.'^ Samael is leader of the 
Opposition. He is the Soul of the fiery planet Mars. He 
is the Creator and inspirer of all Serpents. Azazel, demon 
of the Desert, is his First Lord. He was the terrestrial 
Chief around whom the fallen angels gathered, and his 
great power was acknowledged. All these characters the 
ancient Rabbins found blended in his name. Simm6 
(dazzling), S6me (blinding), Semdl (the left side), and 
Samhammaveth (deadly poison), were combined in the 
terrible name of Samael. He ruled over the sinister Left 
When Moses, in war with the Amalekites, raised his ten 
fingers, it was a special invocation to the Ten Sephiroth, 
Divine Emanations, because he knew the power which 
the Amalekites got from Samael might turn his own left 
hand against Israel.^ The scapegoat was a sacrifice to 
him through Azazel. 

Samael is the mythologic expression and embodiment 
of the history of Esau, afterward Edom. Jacob and Esau 
represented the sheep and the goat, divided in the past 
and to be sundered for ever. As Jacob by covering his 
flesh with goat-skins obtained his father's blessing due to 
Esau, the Israelites wandering through the wilderness 
(near Edom's forbidden domain) seemed to have f^th that 
the offering of a goat would convince his Viceroy Azazel 
that they were orthodox Edomites. The redness of 
Samael begins with the red pottage from which Esau was 
called Edom. The English version does not give the 
emphasis with which Esau is said to have called for the 
pottage — *' the red ! the red 1 " The characteristics 

^ FoL S4, coL z. ' Maarecheth haelahuth, fol. 257, col. i. 


ascribed to Esau in the legend are merely a saga built 
on the local names with which he was associated. 
* Edom * means red, and ' Seir ' means hairy. It probably 
meant the * Shaggy Mountains.' ^ 

It is interesting to observe the parting of the human 
and the theological myths in this story. Jacob is the 
third person of a patriarchal trinity, — Abraham the 
Heavenly Father, Isaac the Laugher (the Sun), and 
Jacob the Impostor or Supplanter. As the moon sup- 
plants the sun, takes hold of his heel, shines with his 
light, so does Jacob supplant his elder brother; and all 
the deadliness ascribed to the Moon, and other Third 
Persons of Tnnities, was inherited by Jacob until his 
name was changed by euphemism. As the impartial 
sun shines for good and evil, the smile of Isaac, the 
Laugher, promised great blessings to both of his sons. 
The human myth therefore represents both of them gain- 
ing great power and wealth, and after a long feud they are 
reconciled. This feature of the legend we shall consider 
hereafter. Jehovah has another interest to be secured. 
He had declared that one should serve the other; that 
they should be cursed who cursed Jacob ; and he said, 
•Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.' Jahvistic 
theology had here something more important than two 
brothers to harmonise ; namely a patriarch's blessing and a 
god's curse. It was contrary to all orthodoxy that a man 
whom Jehovah hated should possess the blessings of life ; 
it was equally unorthodox that a father's blessing should 
not carry with it every advantage promised. It had to be 
recorded that Esau became powerful, lived by his sword, 
and had great possessions. 

It had also to be recorded that ' Edom revolted from 
under the hand of Judah and made a king unto them- 

* Gesenius, Heb. Lexic. 

ESAU. 133 

selves,' and that such independence continued ' unto this 
day' (2 Kings viii. 20, 22). There was thus no room for 
the exhibition of Jacob's superiority, — ^that is of Israels 
priority over Edom, — in this world ; nor yet any room 
to carry out Isaac's curse on all who cursed Jacob, and 
the saying : ' Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated, and 
laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons 
of the wilderness ' (Mai. i.). 

Answers to such problems as these evolve themselves 
slowly but inevitably. The agonised cry of the poor 
girl in Browning's poem — • There may be heaven, 
there must be hell ' — marks the direction in which 
necessity led human speculation many ages before her. 
A future had to be invented for the working out of the 
curse on Esau, who on earth had to fulfil his father's 
blessing by enjoying power, wealth, and independence 
of his brother. In that future his greatness while living 
was repaid by his relegation to the desert and the rock 
with the he-goat for his support. Esau was believed to 
have been changed into a terrible hairy devil.^ But still 
there followed him in his phantasmal transformation a 
ghostly environment of his former power and greatness ; 
the boldest and holiest could not afford to despise or set 
aside that ' share ' which had been allotted him in the 
legend, and could not be wholly set aside in the invisible 

Jacob's share began with a shrewd bargain with his 
imprudent brother. Jacob by his cunning in the breed- 
ing of the streaked animals (Gen. xxx.), by which he 
outwitted Laban, and other manoeuvres, was really the 

^ Hairiness was a pretty general characteristic of devils ; hence, possibly, 
the epithet ' Old Harry,' ue^ hairy, applied to the Devil. In ' Old Deccan 
Days,* p. 50, a Rakshasa is described as hairy : — ' Her hair hangs around her 
in a thick black tangle.' But the beard has rarely been accorded to devils. 


cause of bringing^ on the race called after him that repute 
for extortion, affixed to them in such figures as Shylock, 
which they have found it so hard to live down. In 
becoming the great barterers of the East, their obstacle 
was the plunderer sallying forth from the mountain 
. fastnesses or careering over the desert. These were the 
traditional descendants of Esau, who gradually included 
the Ishmaelites as well as the Edomites, afterwards 
merged in the Idumeans. But as the tribal distinctions 
became lost, the ancient hostility survived in the abstract 
form of this satan of Strife — Samael. He came to mean 
the spirit that stirs up antagonism between those who 
should be brethren. He finally became, and among 
the more superstitious Jews still is, instigator of the 
cruel persecutions which have so long pursued their 
race, and the prejudices against them which survive 
even in countries to whose wealth, learning, and arts 
they have largely contributed. In Jewish countries 
Edom has long been a name for the power of Rome and 
Romanism, somewhat in the same way as the same are 
called 'Babylon* by some christians. Jacob, when pas- 
sing into the wilderness of Edom, wrestled with the in- 
visible power of Esau, or Samael, and had not been able 
to prevail except with a lame thigh, — a part which, in 
every animal, Israel thereafter held sacred to the Op- 
posing Power and abstained from eating. A rabbinical 
legend represents Jacob as having been bitten by a ser- 
pent while he was lingering about the boundary of Edom, 
and before his gift of goats and other cattle had been 
offered to his brother. The fiery serpents which afflicted 
Israel were universally attributed to Samael, and the raising 
of the Brazen Serpent for the homage of the people was 
an instance of the uniform deference to Esau's power in 
his own domain which was long inculcated. 


' As I write, fiery Mars, near enough for the astronomer 
to detect its moons, is a wondrous phenomenon in the 
sky. Beneath it fearful famine is desolating three vast 
countries, war is raging between two powerful nations, 
and civil strife is smiting another ere it has fairly re- 
covered from the wounds . of a foreign struggle. The 
dismal conditions seem to have so little root in political 
necessity that one might almost be pardoned even now 
for dreaming that some subtle influence has come among 
men from the red planet that has approached the earth. 
How easy then must it have been in a similar conjunc- 
tion of earthly and celestial phenomena to have imagined 
Samael, the planetary Spectre, to be at work with his 
fatal fires ! Whatever may have been the occasion, the 
red light of Mars at an early period fixed upon that 
planet the odium of all the burning, blighting, desert- 
producing powers of which it was thought necessary to 
relieve the adorable Sun. It was believed that all ' born 
under ' that planet were quarrelsome. And it was part 
of the popular Jewish belief in the ultimate triumph of 
good over evil that under Mars the Messias was to be 

We may regard Esau-Samael then as the Devil of 
Strife. His traditional son Cain was like himself a 
* murderer from the beginning ;" but in that early period 
the conflict was between the nomad and the huntsman 
on one side, on the other the agriculturist and the 
cattle-breeder, who was never regarded as a noble figure 
among the Semitic tribes. In the course of time some 
Semitic tribes became agriculturists, and among them, 
in defiance of his archaeological character, Samael was 
saddled with the evils that beset them. As an ox he 

^ Buslaef has a beautiful mediaeral picture of a deyil inciting Cain to hurl 
stones on his prostrate brother's form. 


brought rinderpest. But his visible appearance was still 
more generally that of the raven, the wild ass, the hog 
which brought scurvy ; while in shape of a dog he was 
so generally believed to bring deadly disease, that it 
would seem as if ' hydrophobia ' was specially attributed 
to him. . 

In process of time benignant Peace dwelt more and 
more with the agriculturists, but still among the Israelites 
the tradesman was the ' coming man/ and to him peace 
was essential. The huntsman, of the Esau clan, figures in 
many legends, of which the following is translated from 
the Arabic by Lane: — ^There was a huntsman who from a 
mountain cave brought some honey in his water-skin, 
which he offered to an oilman ; when the oilman opened 
the skin a drop of honey fell which a bird ate ; the oil- 
man's cat sprang on the bird and killed it ; the huntsman's 
hound killed the cat ; the oilman killed the dog ; the hunts- 
man killed the oilman ; and as the two men belonged 
to different villages, their inhabitants rose against each 
other in battle, 'and there died of them a great multi- 
tude, the number of whom none knoweth but God, whose 
name be exalted ! ' ^ 

Esau's character as a wild huntsman is referred to in 
another chapter. It is as the genius of strife and nomadic 
war that he more directly stands in contrast with his 
* supplanter.' 

From the wild elemental demons of storm and tempest 
of the most primitive age to this Devil of Strife, the 
human mind has associated evil with unrest. 'The 
wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest' 
Such is the burthen of the Japanese Oni throned in the 
heart of the hurricane, of the wild huntsman issuing forth 
at the first note of war, of Edom hating the victories 

^ Forty-one Eastern Tales. 


of peace, living by the sword. The prophecy that the 
Prince of Peace should be born under the planet Mars is 
a strange and mystical suggestion. In a powerful poem 
by Thomas Aird, 'The Devil's Dream/ the last fearful 
doom of Satan's vision is imprisonment beneath a lake 
for ever still, — the Spirit of Unrest condemned for ever to 
the realm of absolute stillness ! 

There all is solemn idleness : no music here, no jars, 
"Where Silence guards the coast, e'er thrill her everlasting bars. 
No sun here shines on wanton isles ; but o'er the burning sheet 
A rim of restless halo shakes, which marks the internal heat ; 
As, in the days of beauteous earth, we see with dazzled sight 
The red and setting sun overflow with rings of welling light 

Oh ! here in dread abeyance lurks of uncreated things 

The last Lake of God's Wrath, where He His first great Enemy 

Deep in the bosom of the gulf the Fiend was made to stay. 
Till, as it seemed, ten thousand years had o*er him rolled away ; 
In dreams he had extended life to bear the fiery space ; 
But all was passive, dull, and stern within his dwelling-place. 

Oh ! for a blast of tenfold ire to rouse the giant surge, 
Him from that flat fixed lethargy impetuously to urge I 
Let him but rise, but ride upon the tempest-crested wave 
Of fire enridged tumultuously, each. angry thing he'd brave I 
The strokes of Wrath, thick let them fall I a speed so glorious 

Would bear him through, the clinging pains would strip from off 

his head. 

The vision of this Last Stem Lake, oh ! how it plagued his soul, 
Type of that dull eternity that on him soon must roll. 
When plans and issues all must cease that earlier care beguiled, 
And never era more shall stand a landmark on the wild : 
Nor failure nor success is there, nor busy hope nor fame. 
But passive fixed endurance, all eternal and the same. 

( 138 ) 



Jacob, the 'Impostor' — ^The Barterer — Esau, the 'Warrior' — Bar- 
barian Dukes — Trade and War — Reconciliation of Jacob and 
Esau — Their Ghosts — Legend of I Wis — Pagan Warriors of 
Europe — Russian Hierarchy of Hell. 

In the preceding chapter it was noted that there were 
two myths wrapped up in the stoiy of Jacob and Esau, — 
the one theological, the other human. The former was 
there treated, the latter may be considered here. Rab- 
binical theology has made the Jewish race adopt as their 
founder that tricky patriarch whom Shylock adopted as 
his model ; but any censure on them for that comes with 
little grace from christians who believe that they are still 
enjoying a covenant which Jacob's extortions and treach- 
eries were the divinely-adopted means of confirming. It 
is high time that the Jewish people should repudiate 
Jacob's proceedings, and if they do not give him his 
first name ('Impostor') back again, at least withdraw 
from him the name Israel. But it is still more 
important for mankind to study the phases of their 
civilisation, and not attribute to any particular race the 
spirit of a legend which represents an epoch of social 
development throughout the world. 

When Rebekah asked Jehovah why her unborn babes 
struggled in her womb, he answered, *Two nations are 
in thy womb. One people shall be stronger than the 


other people ; the elder shall be subject to the younger/ 
What peoples these were is described in the blessings of 
Jacob on the two representatives when they had grown 
up to be, the one red and hairy, a huntsman ; the other 
a quiet man, dweUing in tents and builder of cattle- 

Jacob — cunning, extortionate, fraudulent in spirit even 
when technically fair — is not a pleasing figure in the 
eyes of the nineteenth century. But he does not belong 
to the nineteenth century. His contest was with Esau. 
The very names of them belong to mythology ; they are 
not individual men ; they are conflicting tendencies and 
interests of a primitive period. They must be thought of 
as Israel and Edom historically; morally, as the Barter 
principle and the Bandit principle. 

High things begin low. Astronomy began as Astro- 
logy ; and when Trade began there must have been even 
more trickery about it than there is now. Conceive of a 
world made up of nomadic tribes engaged in perpetual 
warfare. It is a commerce of killing. If a tribe desires 
the richer soil or larger possessions of another, the method 
is to exterminate that other. But at last there rises a 
tribe either too weak or too peaceful to exterminate, and 
it proposes to barter. It challenges its neighbours to a 
contest of wits. They try to get the advantage of each 
other in bargains ; they haggle and cheat ; and it is not 
heroic at all, but it is the beginning of commerce and 

But the Dukes of Edom as they are called will not 
enter into this compact. They have not been used to it ; 
they are always outwitted at a bargain ; just like those 
other red men in the West of America, whose lands are 
bought with beads, and their territorial birthright taken 
for a mess of pottage. They prefer to live by the hunt 


and by the sword Then between these two peoples is 
an eternal feud, with an occasional truce, or, in biblical 
phrase, * reconciliation.' 

Surrounded by a commercial civilisation, with its prosaic 
virtues and its petty vices, we cannot help admiring much 
about the Duke of Edom, non-producer though he be. 
Brave, impulsive, quick to forgive as to resent ; generous, as 
people can afford to be when they may give what they never 
earned ; his gallant qualities cast a certain meanness over 
his grasping brother, the Israelite. It is a healthy sign in 
youth to admire such qualities. The boy who delights in 
Robin Hood ; the youth who feels a stir of enthusiasm 
when he reads Schiller's Robbers ; the ennuyis of the clubs 
and the roughs, with unfulfilled capacities for adventure 
in them, who admire 'the gallant Turk,' are all linger- 
ing in the nomadic age. They do not think of things but 
of persons. They are impressed by the barbaric dash« 
The splendour of warriors hides trampled and decimated 
peasantries ; their courage can gild atrocities. Beside such 
captivating qualities and thrilling scenes how poor and 
commonplace appear thrifty rusticity, and the cautious, 
selfish, money-making tradesmen 1 

But fine and heroic as the Duke of Edom may appear 
in the distance, it is best to keep him at a distance. 
When Robin Hood reappeared on Blackheath lately, his 
warmest admirers were satisfied to hear he was securely 
lodged in gaol. The Jews had just the same sensations 
about the Dukes of Edom. They saw that tribe near 
to, and lived in daily dread of them. They were hirsute 
barbarians, dwelling amid mountain fastnesses, and lord- 
ing it over a vast territory. The weak tribe of the plains 
had no sooner got together some herds and a little money, 
than those dashing Edomites fell upon them and carried 
away their savings and substance in a day. This made 


the bartering tribe all the more dependent on their cun- 
ning. They had to match their wits against the world ; 
and they have had to do the same to this day, when it 
is a chief element of their survival that their thrift is df 
importance to the business and finance of Europe. But 
in the myth it is shown that Trade, timorous as it is in 
presence of the sword, may have a magnanimity of its 
own. The Supplanter of Edom is haunted by the wrong 
he has done his elder brother, and driven him to greater 
animosity. He resolves to seek him, offer him gifts, and 
crave reconciliation. It is easy to put an unfavourable 
construction upon his action, but it is not necessary. 
The Supplanter, with droves of cattle, a large portion of 
his possessions, passes out towards perilous Edom, un- 
armed, undefended, except by his amicable intentions 
towards the powerful chieftain he had wronged. At the 
border of the hostile kingdom he learns that the chieftain 
is coming to meet him with four hundred men. He is 
now seized with a mighty spirit of Fear. He sends on the 
herdsmen with the herds, and remains alone. During the 
watches of the night there closes upon him this phantom 
of Fear, with its presage of Death. The tricky trades- 
man has met his Conscience, and it is girt about with 
Terror. But he feels that his nobler self is with it, and 
that he will win. Finely has Charles Wesley told the 
story in his hymn : — 

Come, O thou traveller unknown, 
Whom still I hold but cannot see I 
My company before is gone 
And I am left alone with thee : 
With thee all night I mean to stay 
And wrestle till the break of day. 

' Confident in self-despair,' the Supplanter conquers his 
Fear ; with the dawn he travels onward alone to meet the 


man he had outraged and his armed men, and to him 
says, ' I have appeared before thee as though I had ap- 
peared before God, that thou mightest be favourable to 
oie.* The proud Duke is disarmed. The brothers em- 
brace and weep together. The chieftain declines the 
presents, and is only induced to accept them as proof of 
his forgiveness. The Tradesman learns for all time that 
his mere cleverness may bring a demon to his side in 
the night, and that he never made so good a bargain as 
when he has restored ill-gotten gains. The aristocrat 
and warrior returns to his mountain, aware now that 
magnanimity and courage are not impossible to quiet 
men living by merchandise. The hunting-ground must 
make way now for the cattle-breeder. The sword must 
yield before the balances. 

Whatever may have been the tribes which in primitive 
times had these encounters, and taught each other this 
lesson, they were long since reconciled. But the ghosts 
of Israel and Edom, of Barter and Plunder, fought on 
through long tribal histories. Israel represented by the 
archangel Michael, and Edom by dragon Samael, waged 
their war. One characteristic of the opposing power has 
been already considered. Samael embodied Edom as the 
genius of Strife. He was the especial Accuser of Israel, 
their Antichrist, so to say, as Michael was their Advocate. 
But the name 'Edom' itself was retained as a kind of 
personification of the barbaric military and lordly Devil. 
The highwayman in epaulettes, the heroic spoiler, with 
his hairy hand which Israel itself had imitated many a 
time in its gloves, were summed up as * Edom.' 

This personification is the more important since it has 
characterised the more serious idea of Satan which prevails 
in the world. He is mainly a moral conception, and means 
the pride and pomp of the world, its natural wildness and 


ferocities, and the glory of them. The Mussulman fable 
relates that when Allah created man, and placed him in a 
garden, he called all the angels to worship this crowning 
work of his hands. Iblis alone refused to worship Adam. 
The very idea of a garden is hateful to the spirit of No- 
madism.^ Man the gardener receives no reverence from 
the proud leader of the Seraphim. God said unto him 
(Iblis), What hindered thee from worshipping Adam, since 
I commanded ,thee ? He answered, I am more excellent 
than he : thou hast created me of (ethereal) fire, and hast 
created him of clay (black mud). God said. Get thee 
down therefore from paradise, for it is not fit that thou 
behave thyself proudly therein.* 

The earnestness and self-devotion of the northern pagans 
in their resistance to Christianity impressed the finest 
minds in the Church profoundly. Some of the Fathers 
even quoted the enthusiasm of those whom they regarded 
as devotees of the Devil, to shame the apathy of christians. 
The Church could show no martyr braver than Rand, down 
whose throat St. Olaf made a viper creep, which gnawed 
through his side; and Rand was an example of thousands. 
This gave many of the early christians of the north a very 
serious view of the realm of Satan, and of Satan himself as 
a great potentate. It was increased by their discovery 
that the pagan kings — Satan's subjects — ^had moral codes 
and law-courts, and energetically maintained justice. In 
this way there grew up a more dignified idea of Hell. The 

1 The contest between the agriculturist and the (nomadic) shepherd is 
expressed in the legend that Cain and Abel divided the world between them^ 
the one taking possession of the movable and the other of the immovable 
property. Cain said to his brother, * The earth on which thou standest is 
mine, then betake thyself to the air ; ' but Abel replied, ' The garments which 
thou wearest are mine, take them off.' — MidrasK 

' Sale's Koran, vil Al Araf. Iblis, the Mussulman name for the Devil, u 
probably a corruption of the yiox^iaboius. 


grotesque imps receded before the array of majestic demls. 
like Satan and Beelzebub; and these were invested with a 
certain grandeur and barbaric pride. They were regarded 
as rival monarcbs who had refused to submit themselves 
to Jehovah, but they were deemed worthy of heroic treat- 
ment. The traces of this sentiment found in the ancient 
frescoes of Russia are of especial importance. Nothing 
can exceed the grandeur of the Hierarchy of Hell as they 

Fig. 4.-HiniA«CHT or Hux (Ruuiu, Sinecuh Cmiury). 

appear in some of these superb pictures. Satan is gene- 
rally depicted with similar dignity to the king of heaven, 
from whom he is divided by a wall's depth, sometimes 
even resembling him in all but complexion and hair 
(which is fire on Satan). There are frequent instances, as 
in the accompanying figure (4X where, in careful corres- 


pondence with the attitude of Christ on the Father's knees, 
Satan supports the betrayer of Christ. Beside the king of 
Hell, seated in its Mouth, are personages of distinction, 
some probably representing those poets and sages of 
Greece and Rome, the prospect of whose damnation filled 
some of the first christian Fathers with such delight. 

In Spain, when a Bishop is about to baptize one of the 
European Dukes of the Devil, he asks at the font what 
has become of his ancestors, naming them — all heathen. 
'They are all in hell!' replies the Bishop. 'Then there 
will I follow them,* returns the Chief, and thereafter by no 
persuasion can he be induced to fare otherwise than to 
Hell. Gradually the Church made up its mind to ally 
itself with this obstinate barbaric pride and ambition. It 
was willing to give up anything whatever for a kingdom 
of this world, and to worship any number of Princes of 
Darkness, if they would give unto the Bishops such king- 
doms, and the glory of them. They induced Esau to be 
baptized by promise of their aid in his oppressions, and 
free indulgences to all his passions ; and then, by his help, 
they were able to lay before weaker Esaus the christian 
alternatives — Be baptized or burnt I 

Not to have known how to conquer in bloodless victories 
the barbaric Esaus of the world by z^ virtue more pure, a 
heroism more patient, than theirs, and with that 'sweet 
reasonableness of Christ,' which is the latest epitaph on 
his tomb among the rich ; not to have recognised the true 
nobility of the Dukes, and purified their pride to self- 
reverence, their passion to moral courage, their daring and 
freedom to a self-reliance at once gentle and manly ; this 
was no doubt the necessary failure ot a dogmatic and 
irrational system. But it is this which has made the 
christian Israel more of an impostor than its prototype, 
in every country to which it came steadily developing 



to a hypocritical imitator of the Esau whose tMrthright 
it stole by baptism. It speedily lost his magnanimity, 
but never his sword, which however it contrived to make 
at once meaner and more cruel by twisting it into thumb- 
screws and the like. For many centuries its voice has 
been, in a thin phonographic way, the voice of Jesus, but 
the hands are the hands of Esau with Samael's claw 

( Mr ) 



Hebrew Polytheism — Problem of Evil — Job's disbelief in a future life 
— ^The Divider's realm — Salted Sacrifices — Theory of Orthodoxy 
— Job's reasoning — His humour — Impartiality of Fortune between 
the evil and good — ^Agnosticism of Job — Elihu's eclecticism — 
Jehovah of the Whirlwind — Heresies of Job — Rabbinical legend 
of Job— Universality of the legend. 

Israel is a flourishing vine, 

Which bringeth forth fruit to itself ; 

According to the increase of his fruit 

He hath multiplied his altars ; 

According to the goodness of his land 

He hath made goodly images. 

Their heart is divided : now shall they be found guilty ; 

He will break down their altars, he will spoil their images. 

These words of the prophet Hosea (x. i, 2) foreshadow 
the devil -which the devout Jahvist saw growing steadily 
to enormous strength through all the history of Israel. 
The germ of this enemy may be found in our chapter on 
Fate ; one of its earliest developments is indicated in the 
account already given of the partition between Jacob and 
Esau, and the superstition to which that led of a ghostly 
Antagonist, to whom a share had been irreversibly pledged. 
From the principle thus adopted, there grew a host of 
demons whom it was believed necessary to propitiate by 
ofTering them their share. A divided universe had for its 
counterpart a divided loyalty in the heart of the people. 
The growth of a belief in the supremacy of one God was 
far from being a real monotheism ; as a matter of fact no 


primitive race has been monotheistic. In 2 Kings xviL 
it is stated as a belief of the Jews that some Assyrians 
who had been imported into their territory (Samaria) were 
slain by lions because they knew not ' the manner of the 
God of the land/ Spinoza noticed the indications given 
in this and other narratives that the Jews believed that 
gods whose worship was intolerable within their own 
boundaries were yet adapted to other regions (Tracta- 
tus, ii.). With this state of mind it is not wonderful that 
when the Jews found themselves in those alien regions 
they apprehended that the gods of those countries might 
also employ lions on such as knew not their manner, but 
adhered to the worship of Jehovah too exclusively. 

Among the Jews grew up a more spiritual class of minds, 
whose feeling towards the mongrel worship around them 
was that of abhorrence ; but these had a very difficult cause 
to maintain. The popular superstitions were firmly rooted 
in the fact that terrible evils afflicted mankind, and in the 
further fact that these did not spare the most pious. Nay, it 
had for a long time been a growing belief that the bounties 
and afflictions of nature, instead of following the direction 
promised by the patriarchs, — rewarding the pious, punish- 
ing the wicked, — ^were distributed in a reverse way. Dives 
and Lazarus seemed to have their respective lots before 
any future paradise was devised for their equalisation-^as 
indeed is natural, since Dives attends to his business, while 
Lazarus is investing his powers in Abraham's bosom. Out 
of this experience there came at last the demand for a life 
beyond the grave, without whose redress the pious began 
to deem themselves of all men the most miserable. But 
before this heavenly future became a matter of common 
belief, there were theories which prepared the way for it 
It was held by the devout that the evils which afflicted the 
righteous were Jehovah's tests of their loyalty to him, and 


that in the end such trials would be repaid. And when 
observation, following the theory, showed that they were 
not so repaid, it was said the righteousness had been 
unreal, the devotee was punished for hidden wickedness. 
When continued observation had proved that this theory 
too was false, and that piety was not paid in external 
bounties, either to the good man or his family, the solution 
of a future settlement was arrived at. 

This simple process may be traced in various races, and 
in its several phases. 

The most impressive presentation of the experiences 
under which the primitive secular theory of rewards and 
punishments perished, and that of an adjustment beyond 
the grave arose, is found in the Book of Job. The solu- 
tion here reached — a future reward in this life — is an 
impossible one for anything more than an exceptional 
case. But the Book of Job displays how beautiful such 
an instance would be, showing afflictions to be temporary 
and destined to be followed by compensations largely 
outweighing them. It was a tremendous statement of 
the question — If a man die, shall he live again } Jehovah 
answered, * Yes ' out of the whirlwind, and raised Job out 
of the dust. But for the millions who never rose from 
the dust that voice was heard announcing their resurrec- 
tion from a trial that pressed them even into the grave. 
It is remarkable that Job's expression of faith that his 
Vindicator would appear on earth, should have become 
the one text of the Old Testament which has been 
adapted by christians to express faith in immortality. 
Job strongly disowns that faith. 

There is hope for a tree, 
If it be cut down, that it will sprout again. 
And that its tender branches will not fail ; 
Though its root may have grown old in the earth, 


And though its trunk be dead upon the ground. 

At the scent of water it will bud, 

And put forth boughs, like a young plant. 

But man dieth and is gone for ever ! 

• ••••• 

Yet I know that my Vindicator liveth, 

And will stand up at length on the earth ; 

And though with my skin this body be wasted away, 

Yet in my flesh shall I see God. 

Yea, I shall see him my friend ; 

My eyes shall behold him no longer an adversary ; 

For this my soul panteth within me.^ 

The scenery and details of this drama are such as must 
have made an impression upon the mind of the ancient 
Jews beyond what is now possible for any existing people. 
In the first place, the locality was the land of Uz, which 
Jeremiah (Lam. iv. 21) points out as part of Edom, the 
territory traditionally ruled over by the great invisible 
Accuser of Israel, who bad succeeded to the portion of 
Esau, adversary of their founder, Jacob. Job was within 
the perilous bounds. And yet here, where scape-goats 
were offered to deprecate Samael, and where in ordinary 
sacrifices some item entered for the devil's share, Job 
refused to pay any honour to the Power of the Place. 
He offered burnt-offerings alone for himself and his sons, 
these being exclusively given to Jehovah.* Even after 
his children and his possessions were destroyed by this 
great adversary. Job offered his sacrifice without even 
omitting the salt, which was the Oriental seal of an 
inviolable compact between two, and which so especially 
recalled and consecrated the covenant with Jehovah.* 

* Noycs* Translation. * Eisenmenger, Entd. Jud. i. 836. 

* Job. I 22, the literal rendering of which is, ' In all this Job sinned not, 
nor gave God unsaUed' This translation I first heard from Dr. A. P. Pea- 
body, sometime President of Haivard University, from whom I have a note 
in which he says : — ' The word which I have rendered gave is appropriate to 
a sacrifice. The word I have rendered unsalted means so literally ; and is in 


Among his twenty thousand animals, Azazel's animal, 
the goat, is not even named. Job's distinction was an 
absolute and unprecedented singleness of loyalty to 

This loyalty of a disciple even in the enemy's country 
is made the subject of a sort of boast by Jehovah when 
the Accuser enters. Postponing for the moment consi- 
deration of the character and office of this Satan, we may 
observe here that the trial which he challenges is merely 
a test of the sincerity of Job's allegiance* to Jehovah, 
The Accuser claims that it is all given for value received. 
These possessions are taken away. 

This is but the framework around the philosophical 
poem in which all theories of the world are personified in 
grand council. 

First of all Job (the Troubled) asks — Why } Orthodoxy 
answers. (Eliphaz was the son of Esau (Samael), and his 
name here means that he was the Accuser in disguise. 
He, ' God's strength,' stands for the Law. It affirms that 
God's ways are just, and consequently afflictions imply 
previous sin.) Eliphaz repeats the question put by the 
Accuser in heaven — * Was not thy fear of God thy hope ? ' 
And he brings Job to the test of prayer, in which he has 
so long trusted. Eliphaz rests on revelation ; he has had 
a vision ; and if his revelation be not true, he challenges 
Job to disprove it by calling on God to answer him, or 
else securing the advocacy of some one of the heavenly 
host. Eliphaz says trouble does not spring out of the 

Job vi. 6 rendered unsavory. It may, and sometimes does, denote folly, by a 
not unnatural metaphor ; but in that sense the word gtwe—zxk offertory word 
— is out of place.' Waltonus (Bib. Polyg.) translates 'nee dedit insulsum 

Deo ; * had he rendered Tw^I^ by insaUum it would have been exact. The 
horror with which demons and devils are supposed to regard salt is noticed, 
i. 288. 


Job's reply is to man and God — Point out the error I 
Grant my troubles are divine arrows, what have I done to 
thee, O watcher of men ! Am I a sea-monster — and 
we imagine Job looking at his wasted limbs — that the 
Almighty must take precautions and send spies against 

Then follows Bildad the Shuhite, — ^that is the * conten- 
tious/ one of the descendants of Keturah (Abraham's 
concubine), traditionally supposed to be inimical to the 
legitimate Abrahamic line, and at a later period identified 
as the Turks. Bildad, with invective rather than argu- 
ment, charges that Job's children had been slain for their 
sins, and otherwise makes a personal application of Eli- 
phaz's theology. 

Job declares that since God is so perfect, no man by 
such standard could be proved just; that if he could 
prove himself just, the argument would be settled by the 
stronger party in his own favour ; and therefore, liberated 
from all temptation to justify himself, he affirms that the 
innocent and the guilty are dealt with much in the same 
way. If it is a trial of strength between God and himself, 
he yields. If it is a matter of reasoning, let the terrors be 
withdrawn, and he will then be able to answer calmly. 
For the present, even if he were righteous, he dare not lift 
up his head to so assert, while the rod is upon him. 

Zophar 'the impudent' speaks. Here too, probably, is 
a disguise: he is (says the LXX.) King of the Minaeans, 
that is the Nomades, and his designation ' the Naam- 
athite,' of unknown significance, bears a suspicious 
resemblance to Naamah, a mythologic wife of Samael and 
mother of several devils. Zophar is cynical. He laughs 
at Job for even suggesting the notion of an argument 
between himself and God, whose wisdom and ways are 
unsearchable. He (God) sees man's iniquity even when 


it looks as if he did not. He is deeper than hell. What 
can a man do but pray and acknowledge his sinfulness ? 

But Job, even in his extremity, is healthy-hearted enough 
to laugh too. He tells his three * comforters * that no doubt 
Wisdom will die with them. Nevertheless, he has heard 
similar remarks before, and he is not prepared to renounce 
his conscience and common-sense on such grounds. And 
now, indeed, Job rises to a higher strain. He has made 
up his mind that after what has come upon him, he cares 
not if more be added, and challenges the universe to name 
his offence. So long as his transgression is 'sealed up in 
a bag,' he has a right to consider it an invention.^ 

Temanite Orthodoxy is shocked at all this. Eliphaz 
declares that Job's assertion that innocent and guilty suffer 
alike makes the fear of God a vain thing, and discourages 
prayer. * With us are the aged and hoary-headed.* (Job 
is a neologist.) Eliphaz paints human nature in Calvinistic 

Behold, (God) putteth no trust in his ministering spirits. 
And the heavens are not pure in his sight ; 
Much less abominable and polluted man, 
Who drinketh iniquity as water 1 

The wise have related, and they got it from the fathers 
to whom the land was given, and among whom no stranger 
was allowed to bring his strange doctrines, that affliction 
is the sign and punishment of wickedness. 

Job merely says he has heard enough of this, and finds 
no wise man among them. He acknowledges that such 
reproaches add to his sorrows. He would rather con- 
tend with God than with them, if he could. But he sees 
a slight indication of divine favour 'in the remarkable 
unwisdom of his revilers, and their failure to prove their 

' Gesenius so understands verse 17 of chap. xiv. 


Bildad draws a picture of what he considers would be 
the proper environment of a wicked man, and it closely 
resembles the situation of Job. 

But Job reminds him that he, Bildad, is not God. It 
is God that has brought him so low, but God has been 
satisfied with his Qesh. He has not yet uttered any com- 
plaint as to his conduct ; and so he. Job, believes that his 
vindicator will yet appear to confront his accusers — ^the 
men who are so glib when his afflictor is silent.^ 

Zophar harps on the old string. Pretty much as some 
preachers go on endlessly with their pictures of the terrors 
which haunted the deathbeds of Voltaire and Paine, all 
the more because none are present to relate the facts. 
Zophar recounts how men who seemed good, but were not, 
were overtaken by asps and vipers and fires from heaven. 

But Job, on the other hand, has a curious catalogue of 
examples in which the notoriously wicked have lived in 
wealth and gaiety. And if it be said God pays such off ia 
their children. Job denies the justice of that. It is the 
offender, and not his child, who ought to feel it. The 
prosperous and the bitter in soul alike lie down in the 
dust at last, the good and the evil ; and Job is quite con- 
tent to admit that he does not understand it. One thing 
he does understand : * Your explanations are false.' 

But Eliphaz insists on Job having a dogma. If the 
orthodox dogma is not true, put something in its place ! 
Why are you afflicted } What \%your theory ? Is it because 
God was afraid of your greatness > It must be as we say, 

^ The much misunderstood and mistranslated passage, xix. 25-27 (already 
quoted), is certainly referable to the wide-spread belief that as against each 
man there was an Accusing Spirit, so for each there was a Vindicating Spirit 
These two stood respectively on the right and left of the balances in which 
the good and evil actions of each soul were weighed against each other, each 
tiying to make his side as heavy as possible. But as the accusations against 
him are made by living men, and on earth, Job is not prepared to consider 
a celestial acquittal beyond the grave as adequate. 


and you have been defrauding and injuring people in 


Job, having repeated his ardent desire to meet God face 
to face as to his innocence, says he can only conclude that 
what befalls him and others is what is 'appointed' for 
them. His terror indeed arises from that : the good and 
the evil seem to be distributed without reference to human 
conduct How darkness conspires with the assassin ! If 
God were only a man, things might be different ; but as it 
is, 'what he desireth that he doeth,' and 'who can turn 
him ?' 

Bildad falls back on his dogma of depravity. Man is a 

* worm,* a ' reptile.* Job finds that for a worm Bildad is 
very familiar with the divine secrets. If man is morally 
so weak he should be lowly in mind also. God by his 
spirit hath garnished the heavens ; his hand formed the 

* crooked serpent ' — 

Lo ! these are but the borders of his works ; 
How faint the whisper we have heard of him I 
But the thunder of his power who can understand ? 

Job takes up the position of the agnostic, and the three 

* Comforters' are silenced. The argument has ended where 
it had to end. Job then proceeds with sublime eloquence. 
A man may lose all outward things, but no man or god 
can make him utter a lie, or take from him his integrity, 
or his consciousness of it. Friends may reproach him, 
but he can see that his own heart does not That one 
superiority to the wicked he can preserve. In reviewing 
his arguments Job is careful to say that he does not main- 
tain that good and evil men are on an equality. For one 
thing, when the wicked man is in trouble he cannot find 
resource in his innocence. ' Can he delight himself in the 
Almighty ?' When such die, their widows do not bewail 
them. Men do not befriend oppressors when they come 


to want. Men hiss them. And with guilt in their heart 
they feel their sorrpws to be the arrows of God, sent in 
anger. In all the realms of nature, therefore, amid its 
powers, splendours, and precious things, man cannot find 
the wisdom which raises him above misfortune, but only 
in his inward loyalty to the highest, and freedom from 
moral evil. 

Then enters a fifth character, Elihu, whose plan is to 
mediate between the old dogma and the new agnostic 
philosophy. He is Orthodoxy rationalised. Elihu's name 
is suggestive of his ambiguity; it seems to mean one whose 
' God is He^ and he comes from the tribe of Buz, whose 
Hebrew meaning might almost be represented in that 
English word which, with an added jst, would best convey 
the windiness of his remarks. Buz was the son of Milkah, 
the Moon, and his descendant so came fairly by his theo- 
logic ' moonshine ' of the kind which Carlyle has so well 
described in his account of Coleridgean casuistry. Elihu 
means to be fair to both sides 1 Elihu sees some truth in 
both sides! Eclectic Elihu! Job is perfectly right in 
thinking he had not done anything to merit his sufferings, 
but he did not know what snares were around him, and 
how he might have done something wicked but for his 
affliction. Moreover, God ruins people now and then just 
to show how he can lift them up again. Job Ought to have 
taken this for granted, and then to have expressed it in 
the old abject phraseology, saying, * I have received chas- 
tisement ; I will offend no more I What I see not, teach 
thou me!* (A truly Elihuic or 'contemptible' answer to 
Job's sensible words, 'Why is light given to a man whose 
way is hid ?' Why administer the rod which enlightens 
as to the anger but not its cause, or as to the way of 
amend ?) In fact the casuistic Elihu casts no light what- 
ever on the situation. He simply overwhelms him with 


metaphors and generalities about the divine justice and 
mercy, meant to hide this new and dangerous solution 
which Job had discovered — ^namely, that the old dogmatic 
theories of evil were proved false by experience, and that 
a good man amid sorrow should admit his ignorance, but 
never allow terror to wring from him the voice of guilt, 
nor the attempt to propitiate divine wrath. 

When Jehovah appears on the scene, answering Job out 
of the whirlwind, the tone is one of wrath, but the whole 
utterance is merely an amplification of what Job had said 
— ^what we see and suffer are but fringes of a Whole we 
cannot understand. The magnificence and wonder of the 
universe celebrated in that voice of the whirlwind had to 
be given the lame and impotent conclusion of Job ' abhor- 
ring himself,' and ' repenting in dust and ashes/ The con- 
ventional Cerberus must liave his sop. But none the less 
does the great heart of this poem reveal the soul that was 
not shaken or divided in prosperity or adversity. The 
burnt-offering of his prosperous days, symbol of a worship 
which refused to include the supposed powers of mischief, 
was enjoined on Job's Comforters. They must bend to 
him as nearer God than they. And in his high philosophy 
Job found what is symbolised in the three daughters born 
to him: Jemima (the Dove, the voice of the returning 
Spring); Kezia (Cassia, the sweet incense); Kerenhappuch 
(the horn of beautiful colour, or decoration). 

From the Jewish point of view this triumph of Job 
represented a tremendous heresy. The idea that afflictions 
could befall a man without any reference to his conduct, 
and consequently not to be influenced by the normal rites 
and sacrifices, is one fatal to a priesthood. If evil may be 
referred in one case to what is going on far away among 
gods in obscurities of the universe, and to some purpose 
beyond the ken of all sages, it may so be referred in all 
cases, and though burnt-offerings may be resorted to 


formally, they must cease when their powerlessness is 
proved. Hence the Rabbins have taken the side of Job's 
Comforters, They invented a legend that Job had been 
a great magician in Egypt, and was one of those whose 
sorceries so long prevented the escape of Israel. He was 
converted afterwards, but it is hinted that his early wicked- 
ness required the retribution he suffered. His name was 
to them the troubler troubled. 

Heretical also was the theory that man could get along 
without any Angelolatry or Demon-worship. Job in his 
singleness of service, fearing God alone, defying the 
Seraphim and Cherubim from Samael down to do their 
worst, was a perilous figure. The priests got no part 
of any burnt-offering. The sin-offering was of almost 
sumptuary importance. Hence the rabbinical theory, 
already noticed, that it was through neglect of these 
expiations to the God of Sin that the morally spotless 
Job came under the power of his plagues. 

But for precisely the same reasons the story of Job 
became representative to the more spiritual class of minds 
of a genuine as contrasted with a nominal monotheism, 
and the piety of the pure, the undivided heart. Its mean- 
ing is so human that it is not necessary to discuss the 
question of its connection with the story of HariSchan- 
dra, or whether its accent was caught from or by the 
legends of Zoroaster and of Buddha, who passed un- 
scathed through the ordeals of Ahriman and Mara. It 
was repeated in the encounters of the infant Christ with 
Herod, and of the adult Christ with Satan. It was 
repeated in the unswerving loyalty of the patient Griselda 
to her husband. It is indeed the heroic theme of many 
races and ages, and it everywhere points to a period when 
the virtues of endurance and patience rose up to match 
the agonies which fear and weakness had tried to pro- 
pitiate, — when man first learned to suffer and be strong. 

( IS9 ) 



Public Prosecutors — Satan as Accuser — English Devil-worshipper — 
Conversion by Terror — Satan in the Old Testament — The trial 
of Joshua — Sender of Plagues — Satan and Serpent — Portrait of 
Satan — Scapegoat of Christendom — Catholic 'Sight of Hell' — 
The ally of Priesthoods. 

There is nothing about the Satan of the Book of Job 
to indicate him as a diabolical character. He appears as 
a respectable and powerful personage among the sons of 
God who present themselves before Jehovah, and his office 
is that of a public prosecutor. He goes to and fro in the 
earth attending to his duties. He has received certificates 
of character from A. Schultens, Herder, Eichorn, Dathe, 
Ilgen, who proposed a new word for Satan in the pro- 
logue of Job, which would make him a faithful but too 
suspicious servant of God. 

Such indeed he was deemed originally; but it is easy to 
see how the degradation of such a figure must have begun. 
There is often a clamour in England for the creation of 
Public Prosecutors ; yet no donbt there is good ground for 
the hesitation which its judicial heads feel in advising such 
a step. The experience of countries in which Prosecuting 
Attorneys exist is not such as to prove the institution 
one of unmixed advantage. It is not in human nature 
for an official person not to make the most of the duty 


intrusted to him, and the tendency is to raise the interest 
he specially represents above that of justice itself. A 
defeated prosecutor feels a certain stigma upon his 
reputation as much as a defeated advocate, and it is 
doubtful whether it be safe that the fame of any man 
should be in the least identified with personal success 
where justice is trying to strike a true balance. The 
recent performances of certain attorneys in England 
and America retained by Societies for the Suppression 
of Vice strikingly illustrate the dangers here alluded to. 
The necessity that such salaried social detectives should 
perpetually parade before the community as purifiers of 
society induces them to get up unreal cases where real 
ones cannot be easily discovered. Thus they become 
Accusers, and from this it is an easy step to become 
Slanderers ; nor is it a very difficult one which may make 
them instigators of the vices they profess to suppress. 

The first representations of Satan show him holding in 
his hand the scales ; but the latter show him trying slyly 
with hand or foot to press down that side of the balance 
in which the evil deeds of a soul are being weighed 
against the good. We need not try to track archaeologi- 
cally this declension of a Prosecutor, by increasing ardour 
in his office, through the stages of Accuser, Adversary, 
Executioner, and at last Rival of the legitimate Rule, 
and tempter of its subjects. The process is simple 
and familiar. I have before me a little twopenny 
book,^ which is said to have a vast circulation, where 
one may trace the whole mental evolution of Satan. The 
ancient Devil-worshipper who has reappeared with such 
power in England tells us that he was the reputed son 

• ^ ' The Kingdom of Heaven Taken by Prayer.' By William Huntington, 
S.S. This title is explained to be 'Sinner Saved/ otherwise one might 
understand the letters to signify a Surviving Syrian. 


of a farmer, who had to support a wife and eleven children 
on from 7s. to 9s. per week, and who sent him for a short 
time to school. 'My schoolmistress reproved me for 
something wrong, telling me that God Almighty took 
notice of children's sins. This stuck to my conscience a 
great while; and who this God Almighty could be I 
could not conjecture; and how he could know my sins 
without asking my mother I could not conceive. At 
that time there was a person named Godfrey, an excise- 
man, in the town, a man of a stern and hard-favoured 
countenance, whom I took notice of for having a stick 
covered with figures, and an ink-bottle hanging at the 
button-hole of his coat I imagined that man to be 
employed by God Almighty to take notice and keep an 
account of children's sins ; and once I got into the market- 
house and watched him very narrowly, and found that 
he was always in a hurry, by his walking so fast ; and I 
thought he had need to hurry, as he must have a deal 
to do to find out all the sins of children ! ' This terror 
caused the little Huntington to say his prayers. ' Punish- 
ment for sin I found was to be inflicted after death, 
therefore I hated the churchyard, and would traVel any 
distance round rather than drag my guilty conscience over 
that enchanted spot.' 

The child is father to the man. When Huntington, 
S.S., grew up, it was to record for the thousands who 
listened to him as a prophet his many encounters with 
the devil. The Satan he believes in is an exact counter- 
part of the stern, hard-favoured exciseman whom he had 
regarded as God's employ^. On one occasion he writes, 
' Satan began to tempt me violently that there was no God, 
but I reasoned against the belief of that from my own 
experience of his dreadful wrath, saying, How can I 

credit this suggestion, when (God's) wrath is already 
yOL. II. L 


revealed in my heart, and every curse in his book levelled 
at my head/ (That seems his only evidence of God's exis- 
tence — his wrath 1) ' The Devil answered that the Bible 
was false, and only wrote by cunning men to puzzle and 
deceive people. 'There is no God,* said the adversary, 
* nor is the Bible true.' ... I asked, * Who, then, made 
the world ? ' He replied, * I did, and I made men too.* 
Satan, perceiving my rat ionality almost gone, followed 
me up with another, trmptnt i nn ; t hn t m t hr r n wn'uj in^ 
God I must come back to his work again, else when he 
had brought me to hell he would punish me more than 
all the rest. I cried out, * Oh, what will become of me I 
what will become of me ! ' He answered that there was 
no escape but by praying to him ; and that he would 
show me some lenity when he too k mo to hel l-. I went 
and sat in my tool-house halting between ^wo opinions ; 
whether I should petition Satan, or whether I should keep 
praying to God, until I coHld^ascertain the consequences. 
While I was thinking of bending my knees to such a 
cursed being as Satan, an uncommon fear of God sprung 
up in my heart to keep me from it.' 
In other words, Mr. Huntington wavered between the 

petitions 'Good Lord I Good Devil 1 ' The question 

whether it were more moral, more holy^^o worship the 
one than the other did not occur to him. He only con- 
siders which is the strongest — ^which could do him the 
most mischief — ^which, therefore, to fear the most ; and 
when Satan has almost convinced him in his own favour, 
he changes round to God. Why ? Not because of any 
superior goodness on God's part. He says, * An uncom- 
mon fear of God sprung up in my heart.' The greater terror 
won the day ; that is. to say, of two demons he yielded to 
the stronger. Such an experience, though that of one 
living in our own time, represents a phase in the develop- 


ment of the relation between God and Satan which would 
have appeared primitive to an Assyrian two thousand 
years ago. The ethical antagonism of the two was then 
much more clearly felt. But this bit of contemporary 
superstition may bring before us the period when Satan, 
from having been a Nemesis or Retributive Agent of the 
divine law, had become a mere personal rival of his superior. 

Satan, among the Jews, was at first a generic term for 
an adversary lying in wait. It is probably the furtive 
suggestion at the root of this Hebrew word which aided 
in its selection as the name for the invisible adverse 
powers when they were especially distinguished. But 
originally no special personage, much less any antagonist 
of Jehovah, was signified by the word. Thus we read : 
' And God's anger was kindled because he (Balaam) went ; 
and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for a Satan 
against him. . . . And the ass saw the angel of the Lord 
standing in the way and his sword drawn in his hand.' ^ 
The eyes of Balaam are presently opened, and the angel 
says, 'I went out to be a Satan to thee because the 
■way is perverse before me.' The Philistines fear to 
take DaVid with them to battle lest he should prove a 
Satan to them, that is, an underhand enemy or traitor.* 
David called those who wished to put Shimei to death 
Satans;* but in this case the epithet would have been 
more applicable to himself for affecting to protect the 
honest man for whose murder he treacherously pro- 

That it was popularly used for adversary as distinct 
from evil appears in Solomon's words, ' There is neither 
Satan nor evil occurrent' * Yet it is in connection with 

^ Nam. xxii. 22. * I Sam. xxix. 4. 

' 2 Sam. xix. 22. ^ I ICings iL 9. 

' I Kings V. 4. 


Solomon that we may note the entrance of some of tKe 
materials for the mythology which afterwards invested the 
name of Satan. It is said that, in anger at his idolatries, 
'the Lord stirred up a Satan unto Solomon, Hadad the 
Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom/^ Hadad, 
* the Sharp,' bore a name next to that of Esau himself for 
the redness of his wrath, and, as we have seen in a former 
chapter, Edom was to the Jews the land of 'bogeys/ 
'Another Satan,' whom the Lord 'stirred up,' was the 
Devastator, Prince Rezon, founder of the kingdom of 
Damascus, of whom it is said, ' he was a Satan to Israel 
all the days of Solomon.* * The human characteristics of 
supposed ' Scourges of God ' easily pass away. The name 
that becomes traditionally associated with calamities whose 
agents were * stirred up ' by the Almighty is not allowed 
the glory of its desolations. The word ' Satan,' twice used 
in this chapter concerning Solomon's fall, probably gained 
here a long step towards distinct personification as an 
eminent national enemy, though there is no intimation 
of a power daring to oppose the will of Jehovah. Nor, 
indeed, is there any such intimation anywhere in the 
' canonical ' books of the Old Testament The writer of 
Psalm cix., imprecating for his adversaries, says : ' Set 
thou a wicked man over him ; and let Satan stand at his 
right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be con- 
demned ; and let his prayer become sin.' In this there is 
an indication of a special Satan, but he is supposed to be 
an agent of Jehovah. In the catalogue of the curses in- 
voked of the Lord, we find the evils which were afterwards 
supposed to proceed only from Satan. The only instance 
in the Old Testament in which there is even a faint sugges- 
tion of hostility towards Satan on the part of Jehovah is 
in Zechariah. Here we find the following remarkable 

^ 1 Kings xi. 14. ^ i Kings xi. 25. 


words : ' And he showed me Joshua the high priest stand- 
ing before the angel of Jehovah, and the Satan standing at 
his right hand to oppose him. And Jehovah said unto 
Satan, Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan ; even Jehovah, that 
hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee : is not this a brand 
plucked out of the fire ? Now Joshua was clothed with 
filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he 
answered and spake to those that stood before him, say- 
ing, Take away the filthy garments from him. And 
to him he said, Lo, I have caused thine iniquity to 
pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with goodly 

Here we have a very fair study and sketch of that 
judicial trial of the soul for which mainly the dogma of a 
resurrection after death was invented. The doctrine of 
future rewards and punishments is not one which a priest- 
hood would invent or care for, so long as they possessed 
unrestricted power to administer such in this life. It is 
when an alien power steps in to supersede the priesthood 
— the Gallio too indifferent whether ceremonial laws are 
carried out to permit the full application of terrestrial 
cruelties — that the priest requires a tribunal beyond the 
grave to execute his sentence. In this picture of Zechariah 
we have this invisible Celestial Court. The Angel of 
Judgment is in his seat. The Angel of Accusation is pre- 
sent to prosecute. A poor filthy wretch appears for trial. 
What advocate can he command ? Where is Michael, 
the special advocate of Israel ? He does not recognise one 
of his clients in this poor Joshua in his rags. But lo ! sud- 
denly Jehovah himself appears; reproves his own com- 
missioned Accuser ; declares Joshua a brand plucked from 
the burning (Tophet); orders a change of raiment, and, 
condoning his offences, takes him into his own service. 

^ Zech. iii. 


But in all this there is nothing to show general antagonism 
between Jehovah and Satan, but the reverse. 

When we look into the Book of Job we find a Satan 
sufficiently different from any and all of those mentioned 
under that name in other parts of the Old Testament to 
justify the belief that he has been mainly adapted from 
the traditions of other regions. The plagues and aifiictions 
which in Psalm cix. are invoked from Jehovah, even while 
Satan is mentioned as near, are in the Book of Job ascribed 
to Satan' himself. Jehovah only permits Satan to inflict 
them with a proviso against total destruction. Satan is 
here named as a personality in a way not known elsewhere 
in the Old Testament, unless it be in i Chron. xxi. i, 
where Satan (the article being in this single case absent) 
is said to have 'stood up against Israel, and provoked 
David to number Israel.' But in this case the uniformity 
of the passage with the others (excepting those in Job) is 
preserved by the same incident being recorded in 2 Sam. 
xxiv. I, 'The anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, 
and he (Jehovah) moved David against them to say, Go 
number Israel and Judah.' 

It is clear that, in the Old Testament, it is in the Book 
of Job alone that we find Satan as the powerful prince of 
an empire which is distinct from that of Jehovah, — ^an 
empire of tempest, plague, and fire, — though he presents 
himself before Jehovah, and awaits permission to exert 
his power on a loyal subject of Jehovah. The formality 
of a trial, so dear to the Semitic heart, is omitted in this 
case. And these circumstances confirm the many other 
facts which prove this drama to be largely of non-Semitic 
origin. It is tolerably clear that the drama of Hari^- 
chandra in India and that of Job were both developed 
from the Sanskrit legends mentioned in our chapter on 
Viswdmitra; and it is certain that Aryan and Semitic 


elements are both represented in the figure of Satan as he 
has passed into the theology of Christendom. 

Nor indeed has Satan since his importation into Jewish 
literature in this new aspect, much as the Rabbins have 
made of him, ever been assigned the same character among 
that people that has been assigned him in Christendom. 
He has never replaced Samael as their Archfiend. 
Rabbins have, indeed, in later times associated him with 
the Serpent which seduced Eve in Eden; but the absence 
of any important reference to that story in the New 
Testament is significant of the slight place it had in the 
Jewish mind long after the belief in Satan had become 
popular. In fact, that essentially Aryan myth little ac- 
corded with the ideas of strife and immorality which the 
Jews had gradually associated with Samael. In the 
narrative, as it stands in Genesis, it is by no means the 
Serpent that makes the worst appearance. It is Jehovah, 
whose word — that death shall follow on the day the apple 
is eaten — is falsified by the result ; and while the Serpent 
is seen telling the truth, and guiding man to knowledge, 
Jehovah is represented as animated by jealousy or even 
fear of man's attainments. All of which is natural enough 
in an extremely primitive myth of a combat between 
rival gods, but by no means possesses the moral accent 
of the time and conditions amid which Jahvism certainly 
originated. It is in the same unmoral plane as the con- 
test of the Devas and Asuras for the Amrita, in Hindu 
mythology, a contest of physical force and wits. 

The real development of Satan among the Jews was 
from an accusing to an opposing spirit, then to an agent 
of punishment — a hated executioner. The fact that the 
figure here given (Fig, 5) was identified by one so familiar 
with Semitic demonology as Calmet as a representation 
of him, is extremely interesting. It was found among 


representations of Cherubim, and on the back of one 
somewhat like it is a formula of invocation against 
demons. The countenance is of that severe beauty which 
the Greeks ascribed to Nemesis. Nemesis has at her feet 
the wheel and rudder, symbols of her power to overtake 
the evil-doer by land or sea ; the feet of this figure are 
winged for pursuit. He has four hands. In one he bears 

F'i- J.— Ckcmtic Flau«i (Sm. Gnieneve CoUeciign> 

the lamp which, like Lucifer, brings light on the deed (rf 
darkness. As to others, he anwers Baruch's description 
(Ep. 13, 14) of the Babylonian god, ' He hath a sceptre in 
his hand like a man, like a judge of the kingdom he 


tath in his hand a sword and an axe.' He bears nicely- 
graduated implements of punishment, from the lash that 
scourges to the axe that slays ; and his retributive powers 
are supplemented by the scorpion tail. At his knees are 
signets; whomsoever he seals are sealed. He has the terrible 
eyes which were believed able to read on every forehead 
a catalogue of sins invisible to mortals, a power that made 
women careful of their veils, and gave meaning to the 
formula * Get thee behind me ! ' ^ 

Now this figure, which Calmet believed to be Satan, 
bears on its reverse, ' The Everlasting Sun.* He is a god 
made up of Egyptian and Magian forms, the head-plumes 
belonging to the one, the multiplied wings to the other. 
Matter {Hist Crit de Gnost.) reproduces it, and says that 
' it differs so much from all else of the kind as to prove it 
the work of an impostor.' But Professor C. W. King has 
a (probably fifth century) gem in his collection evidently 
a rude copy of this (reproduced in his * Gnostics,* PL xi. 3), 
on the back of which is ' Light of Lights ; ' and, in a note 
which I have from him, he says that it sufficiently proves 
Matter wrong, and that this form was primitive. In 
one gem of Professor King's (PI. v. i) the lamp is also 
carried, and means the * Light of Lights.' The inscription 
beneath, within a coiled serpent, is in corrupt cuneiform 
characters, long preserved by the Magi, though without 
understanding them. There is little doubt, therefore, that 
the instinct of Calmet was right, and that we have here an 
early form of the detective and retributive Magian deity 
ultimately degraded to an accusing spirit, or Satan. 

Although the Jews did not identify Satan with their 
Scapegoat, yet he has been veritably the Scapegoat 
among devils for two thousand years. All the nightmares 
and phantasms that ever haunted the human imagination 

1 Cf. Rev. vfi. 3. 


have been packed upon him unto this day, when it is 
almost as common to hear his name in India and China 
as in Europe and Amefica. In thus passing round the 
world, he has caught the varying features of many fossil- 
ised demons: he has been horned, hoofed, reptilian, 
quadrupedal, anthropoid, anthropomorphic, beautiful, ugly, 
male, female; the whites painted him black, and the 
blacks, with more reason, painted him white. Thus has 
Satan been made a miracle of incongruities. Yet through 
all these protean shapes there has persisted the original 
characteristic mentioned. He is prosecutor and execu- 
tioner under the divine government, though his office has 
been debased by that mental confusion which, in the East, 
abhors the burner of corpses, and, in the West, regards the 
public hangman with contempt; the abhorrence, in the 
case of Satan, being intensified by the supposition of an 
overfondness for his work, carried to the extent of insti- 
gating the offences which will bring him victims. 

In a well-known English Roman Catholic book^ of 
recent times, there is this account of St. Francis* visit to 
hell in company with the Angel Gabriel: — *St. Francis saw 
that, on the other side of (a certain) soul, there was an- 
other devil to mock at and reproach it. He said, Remem- 
ber where you are, and where you wil l be for ever ; ho w 

short the sin was, how long the pu nishmen t^ ^It is your 

own fault ; when you committed that mortal sin you knew 
Tiow you would be punished. " ^WhaT a good bargain you 
made Fo take the pains of eternity Tn exchangee lor the sm 
of a day^ aiTEour, a moment ^ou cry now for your sin, 
"Buf ybuf crying comes too late. You liked bad company ; 
you will find bad company enough here. Your father was 

^ ' The Sight of Hell,' prepared, as one of a ' Series of Books for Children 
and Young Persons,' by the Rer. Father Furniss, C.S.S.R., by authority of 
bis Superiors. 


a drunkard, look at him there drinking^ red-hot fire. You 
were too idle to go to mass on Sundays ; be as idle as you 
like now, for there is no mass to go to. You disobeyed 
your father, but you dare not disobey him who is your 
father in helL' 

This devil speaks as one carrying out the divine decrees. 
He preaches. He utters from his chasuble of flame the 
sermons of Father Furniss. And, no doubt, wherever 
belief in Satan is theological, this is pretty much the form 
which he assumes before the mind (or what such believers 
would call their mind, albeit really the mind of some 
Syrian dead these two thousand years). But the Satan 
popularly personalised was man's effort to imagine an 
enthusiasm of inhumanity. He is the necessary append- 
age to a personalised Omnipotence, whose thoughts are 
not as man's thoughts, but claim to coerce these. His 
degradation reflects the heartlessness and the ingenuity 
of torture which must always represent personal govern- 
ment with its catalogue of fictitious crimes. Offences 
against mere Majesty, against iniquities framed in law, 
must be doubly punished, the thing to be secured being 
doubly weak. Under any theocratic government law 
and punishment would become the types of diabolism. 
Satan thus has a twofold significance. He reports what 
powerful priesthoods found to be the obstacles to their 
authority ; and he reports the character of the priestly 
despotisms which aimed to obstruct human develop- 

( 172 ) 



Pharaoh and Herod — Zoroaster's mother — Ahriman's emissaries— 
Kansa and Krishna — Emissaries of Kansa — ^Astyages and Cyrus 
— Zohdk — Bel and the Christian. 

The Jews had already, when Christ appeared, formed the 
theory that the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, and his 
resistance to the departure of Israel from Egypt, were due 
to diabolical sorcery. The belief afterwards matured ; that 
Edom (Esau or Samael) was the instigator of Roman 
aggression was steadily forming. The mental conditions 
were therefore favourable to the growth of a belief in the 
Jewish followers of Christ that the hostility to the reli- 
gious movement of their time was another effort on the 
part of Samael to crush the kingdom of God. Herod was 
not, indeed, called Satan or Samael, nor was Pharaoh ; but 
the splendour and grandeur of this Idumean (the realm of 
Esau), notwithstanding his oppressions and crimes, had 
made him a fair representative to the people of the super- 
natural power they dreaded. Under these circumstances 
it was a powerful appeal to the sympathies of the Jewish 
people to invent in connection with Herod a myth exactly 
similar to that associated with Pharaoh, — namely, a con- 
spiracy with sorcerers, and consequent massacre of all 
new-bom children. 

The myths which tell of divine babes supematurally 
saved from royal hostility are veritable myths, even 


where they occur so late in time that historic names and 
places are given ; for, of course, it is impossible that by 
any natural means either Pharaoh or Herod should be 
aware of the peculiar nature of any particular infant born 
in their dominions. Such traditions, when thus presented 
in historical guise, can only be explained by reference to 
corresponding fables written out in simpler mythic form ; 
while it is especially necessary to remember that such 
corresponding narratives may be of independent ethnical 
origin, and that the later in time may be more primitive 

In the Legend of Zoroaster^ his mother Dogdo, pre- 
vious to his birth, has a dream in which she sees a black 
cloud, which, like the wing of some vast bird, hides the 
sun, and brings on frightful darkness. This cloud rains 
down on her house terrible beasts with sharp teeth, — ^tigers^ 
lions, wolves, rhinoceroses, serpents. One monster espe« 
cially attacks her with great fury, and her unborn babe 
speaks in reassuring terms. A great light rises and the 
beasts fall. A beautiful youth appears, hurls a book at the 
Devas (Devils), and they fly, with exception of three, — a 
wolf, a lion, and a tiger. These, however, the youth drives 
away with a luminous horn. He then replaces the holy 
infant in the womb, and says to the mother : ' Fear 
nothing I The King of Heaven protects this infant. The 
earth waits for him. He is the prophet whom Ormuzd 
sends to his people : his law will All the world with joy : 
he will make the lion and the lamb drink in the same 
place. Fear not these ferocious beasts ; why should he 
whom Ormuzd preserves fear the enmity of the whole 
world V With these words tlie youth vanished, and Dogdo 
awoke. Repairing to an interpreter, she was told that 
the Horn meant the grandeur of Ormuzd ; the Book was 

* M. Anquetil Du Perron's 'Zendavesta et Vie der Zoroastie.' 


the Avesta ; the three Beasts betokened three powerful 

Zoroaster was born laughing. This prodigy being noised 
abroad, the Magicians became alarmed, and sought to slay 
the child. One of them raised a sword to strike him, but 
his arm fell to the ground. The Magicians bore the child 
to the desert, kindled a fire and threw him into it, but his 
mother afterwards found him sleeping tranquilly and un- 
harmed in the flames. Next he was thrown in front of a 
drove of cows and bulls, but the fiercest of the bulls stood 
carefully over the child and protected him. The Magicians 
killed all the young of a pack of wolves, and then cast the 
infant Zoroaster to them that they might vent their rage 
upon him, but the mouths of the wolves were shut. They 
abandoned the child on a lonely mountain, but two ewes 
came and suckled him. 

Zoroaster's father respected the ministers of the Devas 
(Magi), but his child rebuked him. Zoroaster walked on 
the water (crossing a great river where was no bridge) on 
his way to Mount Iran where he was to receive the Law. 
It was then he had the vision of the battle between the 
two serpent armies, — the white and black adders, the 
former, from the South, conquering the latter, which had 
come from the North to destroy him. 

The Legend of the Infant Krishna is as follows : — ^The 
tyrant Kansa, having given his sister Devaki in marriage 
to Vasuddva, as he was returning from the wedding heard 
a voice declare, ' The eighth son of Devaki is destined to 
be thy destroyer.' Alarmed at this, Kansa cast his sister 
and her husband into a prison with seven iron doors, and 
whenever a son was born he caused it to be instantly 
destroyed. When Devaki became pregnant the eighth 
time, Brahma and Siva, with attending Devas, appeared 
and sang : ' O favoured among women ! in thy delivery 


all nature shall have cause to exult ! How ardently we 
long to behold that face for the sake of which we have 
coursed round three worlds ! ' When Krishna was born a 
chorus of celestial spirits saluted him ; the room was 
illumined with supernatural light. While Devaki was 
weeping at the fatal decree of Kansa that her son should 
be destroyed, a voice was heard by Vasud6va saying: 
' Son of Yadu, carry this child to Gokul, on the other side 
of the river Jumna, to Nauda, whose wife has just given 
birth to a daughter. Leave him and bring the girl hither/ 
At this the seven doors swung open, deep sleep fell on the 
guards, and Vasud^va went forth with the holy infant in 
his arms. The river Jumna was swollen, but the waters, 
having kissed the feet of Krishna, retired on either side, 
opening a pathway. The great serpent of Vishnu held 
its hood over this new incarnation of its Lord. Beside 
sleeping Nauda and his wife the daughter was replaced 
by the son, who was named Krishna, the Dark. 

When all this had happened a voice came to Kansa 
saying: 'The boy destined to destroy thee is bom, and 
is now living/ Whereupon Kansa ordered all the male 
children in his kingdom to be destroyed. This being 
ineffectual, the whereabouts of Krishna were discovered ; 
but the messenger who was sent to destroy the child 
beheld its image in the water and adored it The 
Rakshasas worked in the interest of Kansa. One ap- 
proached the divine child in shape of a monstrous bull 
whose head he wrung off; and he so burned in the 
stomach of a crocodile which had swallowed him that the 
monster cast him from his mouth unharmed. 

Finally, as a youth, Krishna, after living some time as 
a herdsman, attacked the tyrant Kansa, tore the crown 
from his head, and dragged him by his hair a long way ; 
with the curious result that Kansa became liberated from 


the three worlds, such virtue had long thinking about the 
incarnate one, even in enmity I 

The divine beings represented in these legends find 
their complement in the fabulous history of Cyrus; and 
the hostile powers which sought their destruction are 
represented in demonology by the Persian tyrant-devil 
Zohdk. The name of Astyages, the grandfather of Cyrus^ 
has been satisfactorily traced to Ashdahdk, and Ajis 
Dahdka, the ' biting snake/ The word thus connects him 
with Vedic Ahi and with Iranian Zohdk, the tyrant out 
of whose shoulders a magician evoked two serpents which 
adhered to him and became at once his familiars and the 
arms of his cruelty. As Astyages, the last king of Media, 
he had a dream that the offspring of his daughter Man- 
dane would reign over Asia. He gave her in marriage to 
Cambyses, and when she bore a child (Cyrus), commit- 
ted it to his minister Harpagus to be slain. Harpagus, 
however, moved with pity, gave it to a herdsman of Asty- 
ages, who substituted for it a still-born child, and having 
so satisfied the tyrant of its death, reared Cyrus as his 
own son. 

The luminous Horn of the Zoroastrian legend and the 
diabolism of Zohdk are both recalled in the Book of 
Daniel (viii.) in the terrific struggle of the ram and the 
he-goat. The he-goat, ancient symbol of hairy Esau, 
long idealised into the Invisible Foe of Israel, had be- 
come associated also with Babylon and with Nimrod its 
founder, the Semitic Zohdk. But Bel, conqueror of the 
Dragon, was the founder of Babylon, and to Jewish eyes 
the Dragon was his familiar; to the Jews he represented 
the tyranny and idolatry of Nimrod, the two serpents of 
Zohdk. When Cyrus supplanted Astyages, this was the 
idol he found the Babylonians worshipping until Daniel 
destroyed it. And so, it would appear, came about the 


fact that to the Jews the power of Christendom came to 
be represented as the Reign of Bel. One can hardly 
wonder at that. If ever there were cruelty and oppres- 
sion passing beyond the limit of mere human capacities, 
it has been recorded in the tragical history of Jewish 
sufferings. The disbeliever in praeternatural powers of 
evil can no less than others recognise in this ' Bel and 
the Christian/ which the Jews substituted for 'Bel and 
the Dragon/ the real archfiend — Superstition, turning 
human hearts to stone when to stony gods they sacrifice 
their own humanity and the welfare of mankind. 

VOL II. ' M 

( 178 ) 



Temptations — Birth of Buddha — Mara — Temptation of power — 
Asceticism and Luxury — Mara's menaces — Appearance of the 
Buddha's Vindicator — Ahriman tempts Zoroaster — Satan and 
Christ — Criticism of Strauss — Jewish traditions — Hunger — 

The Devil, having shown Jesus all the kingdoms of this 
world, said, * All this power will I give thee, and the glory 
of them : for that is delivered unto me, and to whomso- 
ever I will I give it/ The theory thus announced is as a 
vast formation underlying many religions. As every reli- 
gion begins as an ideal, it must find itself in antagonism to 
the world at large ; and since the social and political world 
are themselves, so long as they last, the outcome of nature, 
it is inevitable that in primitive times the earth should be 
regarded as a Satanic realm, and the divine world pictured 
elsewhere. A legitimate result of this conclusion is asceti- 
cism, and belief in the wickedness of earthly enjoyments. 
To men of great intellectual powers, generally accom- 
panied as they are with keen susceptibilities of enjoyment 
and strong sympathiej, the renunciation of this world must 
be as a living burial. To men who, amid the corruptions 
of the world, feel within them the power to strike in with 
effect, or who, seeing ' with how little wisdom the world is 
governed,' are stirred by the sense of power, the struggle 
against the temptation to lead in the kingdoms of this 


world is necessarily severe. Thus simple is the sense of 
those temptations which make the almost invariable ordeal 
of the traditional founders of religions. As in earlier 
times the god won his spurs, so to say, by conquering 
some monstrous beast, the saint or saviour must have 
overcome some potent many-headed world, with gems for 
scales and double-tongue, coiling round the earth, and 
thence, like Lilith's golden hair, round the heart of all 
surrendered to its seductions. 

It is remarkable to note the contrast between the visible 
and invisible worlds which surrounded the spiritual pil- 
grimage of Sakya Muni to Buddhahood or enlightenment. 
At his birth there is no trace of political hostility: the 
cruel Kansa, Herod, Magicians seeking to destroy, are 
replaced by the affectionate force of a king trying to retain 
his son. The universal traditions reach their happy height 
in the ecstatic gospels of the Siamese.^ The universe was 
illumined ; all jewels shown with unwonted lustre ; the 
air was full of music ; all pain ceased ; the blind saw, the 
deaf heard ; the birds paused in their flight ; all trees and 
plants burst into bloom, and lotus flowers appeared in 
every place. Not under the dominion of Mara * was this 
beautiful world. But by turning from all its youth, health, 
and life, to think only of its decrepitude, illness, and 

1 As given in Mr. Alabaster's *The Wheelof theLaw' (TriibnerA Co., 1871). 
In the Apocryphal Gospels, some of the signs of nature's joy attending the 
birth of Buddha are reported at the birth of Mary and that of Christ, as the 
pausing of birds in their flight, &c. Anna is said to have conceived Mary 
under a tree, as Maia under a tree brought forth Buddha. 

' * Mara, or Man (Sanscrit Mlira, death, god of love; by some authors 
translated ' illusion,' as if it came from the Sanscrit M^ya), the angels of evil 
desire, of love, death, &c. Though King Mara plays the part of our Satan the 
tempter, he and his host were formerly great givers of alms, which led to their 
being bom in the highest of the Deva heavens, called Paranimit Wasawatti,- 
there to live more than nine thousand million years, surrounded by all the 
luxuries of sensuality. From this heaven the filthy one, as the Siamese 
describe him, descends to the earth to tempt and excite to eyi\.*'^Aia6asUr. 

i8o MARA, 

death, the Prince Sakya Muni surrounded himself with 
another world in which Mara had his share of power. I 
condense here the accounts of his encounters with the 
Prince, who was on his way to be a hermit. 

When the Prince passed out at the palace gates, the 
king Mara, knowing that the youth was passing beyond 
his evil power, determined to prevent him. Descending 
from his abode and floating in the air, Mara cried, 

* Lord, thou art capable of such vast endurance, go not 
forth to adopt a religious life, but return to thy kingdom, 
and in seven days thou shalt become an emperor of the 
world, ruling over the four great continents/ ' Take heed, 
O Mara I ' replied the Prince ; * I also know that in seven 
days I might gain universal empire, but I have no desire 
for such possessions. I know that the pursuit of religion 
is better than the empire of the world. See how the 
world is moved, and quakes with praise of this my entry 
on a religious life I I shall attain the glorious omniscience, 
and shall teach the wheel of the law, that all teachable 
beings may free themselves from transmigratory existence. 
You, thinking only of the lusts of the flesh, would force 
me to leave all beings to wander without guide into your 
power. Avaunt ! get thee away far from me ! * 

Mara withdrew, but only to watch for another oppor- 
tunity. It came when the Prince had reduced himself to 
emaciation and agony by the severest austerities. Then 
Mara presented himself, and pretending compassion, said, 

* Beware, O grand Being ! Your state is pitiable to look 
on ; you are attenuated beyond measure, and your skin, 
that was of the colour of gold, is dark and discoloured. 
You are practising this mortification in vain. I can see 
that you will not live through it. You, who are a Grand 
Being, had better give up this course, for be assured you 
will derive much more advantage from sacrifices of fire 



and flowers/ Him the Grand Being indignantly answered, 
* Hearken, thou vile and wicked Mara f Thy words suit not 
the time. Think not to deceive me, for I heed thee not. 
Thou mayest mislead those who have no understanding, 
but I, who have virtue, endurance, and intelligence, who 
know what is good and what is evil, cannot be so misled. 
Thou, O Mara ! hast eight generals. Thy first is delight 
in the five lusts of the flesh, which are the plea§ures of 
appearance, sound, scent, flavour, and touch. Thy second 
general is wrath, who takes the form of vexation, indigna-* 
tion, and desire to injure. Thy third is concupiscence. 
Thy fourth is desire. Thy fifth is impudence. Thy sixth 
is arrogance. Thy seventh is doubt. And thine eighth 
is ingratitude. These are thy generals, who cannot be 
escaped by those whose hearts are set on honour and 
wealth. But I know that he who can contend with these 
thy generals shall escape beyond all sorrow, and enjoy 
the most glorious happiness. Therefore I have not ceased 
to practise mortification, knowing that even were I to die 
whilst thus engaged, it would be a most excellent thing.' 

It is added that Mara 'fled in confusion,' but the next 
incident seems to show that his suggestion was not un- 
heeded ; for * after he had departed,' the Grand Being had 
his vision of the three-stringed guitar — one string drawn 
too tightly, the second too loosely, the third moderately — 
which last, somewhat in defiance of orchestral ideas, alone 
gave sweet music, and taught him that moderation was 
better than excess or laxity. By eating enough he gained 
that pristine strength and beauty which offended the five 
Brahmans so that they left him. The third and final effort 
of Mara immediately preceded the Prince's attainment of the 
order of Buddha under the Bo-tree. He now sent his three 
daughters, Raka (Love), Aradi (Anger), Tanha (Desire)* 
Beautifully bedecked they approached him, and Raka said, 

1 8 2 MARA'S MEN A CES. 

*Lord, fearest thou not death?* But he drove her away. 
The two others also he drove away as they had no charm 
of sufficient power to entice him. Then Mara assembled 
his generals, and said, ' Listen, ye Maras, that know not 
sorrow I Now shall I make war on the Prince^ that man 
without equal. I dare not attack him in face, but I 
will circumvent him by approaching on the north side. 
Assume then all manner of shapes, and use your mightiest 
powers, that he may flee in terror.' 

Having taken on fearful shapes, raising awful sounds, 
headed by Mara himself, who had assumed immense size, 
and mounted his elephant Girimaga, a thousand miles in 
height, they advanced ; but they dare not enter beneath 
the shade of the holy Bo-tree. They frightened away, 
however, the Lord's guardian angels, and he was left 
alone. Then seeing the army approaching from the north, 
he reflected, 'Long have I devoted myself to a life of 
mortification, and now I am alone, without a friend to aid 
me in this contest. Yet may I escape the Maras, for the 
virtue of riiy transcendent merits will be my army.' * Help 
me,' he cried, *ye thirty Baramil ye powers of accu- 
mulated merit, ye powers of Almsgiving, Morality, 
Relinquishment, Wisdom, Fortitude, Patience, Truth, 
Determination, Charity, and Equanimity, help me in my 
fight with Mara 1' The Lord was seated on his jewelled 
throne (the same that had been formed of the grass on 
which he sat), and Mara with his army exhausted every 
resource of terror — monstrous beasts, rain of missiles and 
burning ashes, gales that blew down mountain peaks — to 
inspire him with fear ; but all in vain I Nay, the burning 
ashes were changed to flowers as they fell. 

* Come down from thy throne,' shouted the evil-formed 
one; 'come down, or I will cut thine heart into atoms!' 
The Lord replied, * This jewelled throne was created by 


the power of my merits, for I am he who will teach all 
men the remedy for death, who will redeem all beings, 
and set them free from the sorrows of circling existence/ 

Mara then claimed that the throne belonged to himself, 
and had been created by his own merits ; and on this 
armed himself with the Chakkra, the irresistible weapon 
of Indra, and Wheel of the Law. Yet Buddha answered, 

* By the thirty virtues of transcendent merits, and the five 
alms, I have obtained the throne. Thou, in saying that 
this throne was created by thy merits, tellest an untruth, 
for indeed there is no throne for a sinful, horrible being 
such as thou art.' 

Then furious Mara hurled the Chakkra, which clove 
mountains in its course, but could not pass a canopy of 
flowers which rose over the Lord's head. 

And now the great Being asked Mara for the witnesses 
of his acts of merit by virtue of which he claimed the 
throne. In response^ Mara's generals all bore him witness. 
Then Mara challenged him, *Tell me now, where is the 
man that can bear witness for thee ? * The Lord reflected, 

* Truly here is no man to bear me witness, but I will 
call on the earth itself, though it has neither spirit nor 
understanding, and it shall be my witness. Stretching 
forth his hand, he thus invoked the earth : * O holy Earth 1 
I who have attained the .thirty powers of virtue, and per- 
formed the five great alms, each time that I have performed 
a great act have not failed to pour water on thee. Now 
that I have no other witness, I call upon thee to give thy 
testimony ! ' 

The angel of the earth appeared in shape of a lovely 
woman, and answered, * O Being more excellent than 
angels or men 1 it is true that, when you performed your 
great works, you ever poured water on my hair.* And 
with these words she wrung her long hair, and from it 


issued a stream, a torrent, a flood, in which Mara and his 
hosts were overturned, their insignia destroyed, and King 
Mara put to flight, amid the loud rejoicings of angels. 

Then the evil one and his generals were conquered not 
only in power but in heart ; and Mara, raising his thousand 
arms, paid reverence, saying, * Homage to the Lord, who 
has subdued his body even as a charioteer breaks his 
horses to his use I The Lord will become the omniscient 
Buddha, the Teacher of angels, and Brahmas, and Yakkhas 
(demons), and men. He will confound all Maras, and 
rescue men from the whirl of transmigration ! ' 

The menacing powers depicted as assailing Sakya Muni 
appear only around the infancy of Zoroaster. The inter- 
view of the latter with Ahriman hardly amounts to a severe 
trial, but still the accent of the chief temptation both of 
Buddha and Christ is in it, namely, the promise of worldly 
empire. It was on one of those midnight journeys through 
Heaven and Hell that Zoroaster saw Ahriman, and de- 
livered from his power * one who had done both good and 
evil'i When Ahriman met Zoroaster's gaze, he cried, 
* Quit thou the pure law ; cast it to the ground ; thou wilt 
then be in the world all that thou canst desire. Be not 
anxious about thy end. At least, do not destroy my sub- 
jects, O pure Zoroaster, son of Poroscharp, who art bom 
of her thou hast borne I * Zoroaster answered, ' Wicked 
Majesty I it is for thee and thy worshippers that Hell is 
prepared, but by the mercy of God I shall bury your work 
with shame and ignominy.' 

In the account of Matthew, Satan begins his temptation 
of Jesus in the same way and amid similar circumstances 
to those we And in the Siamese legends of Buddha. It 
occurs in a wilderness, and the appeal is to hunger. The 

^ Some say Djemschid, others Guensche^^p, a warrior sent to hell for beat- 
ing the fire. 


temptation of Buddha, in which Mara promises the empire 
of the world, is also repeated in the case of Satan and 
Jesus (Fig, 6). The menaces, however, in this case, are 

relegated to the infancy, and the lustful temptation is' 
absent altogether. Mark has an allusion to his being in 


the wilderness forty days * with the beasts,* which may 
mean that Satan 'drove' him into a region of danger to 
inspire fear. In Luke we have the remarkable claim of 
Satan that the authority over the world has been delivered 
to himself, and he gives it to whom he will ; which Jesus 
does not deny, as Buddha did the similar claim of Mara. 
As in the case of Buddha, the temptation of Jesus ends 
his fasting; angels bring him food (Bi/rfKOpoiw airrS pro- 
bably means that), and thenceforth he eats and drinks, 
to the scandal of the ascetics. 

The essential addition in the case of Jesus is the notable 
temptation to try and perform a crucial act. Satan quotes 
an accredited messianic prophecy, and invites Jesus to 
test his claim to be the predicted deliverer by casting 
himself from the pinnacle of the Temple, and testing the 
promise that angels should protect the true Son of God. 
Strauss,^ as it appears to me, has not considered the im- 
portance of this in Connection with the general situation. 
'Assent,' he says, 'cannot be withheld from the canon 
that, to be credible, the narrative must ascribe nothing to 
the devil inconsistent with his established cunning. Now, 
the first temptation, appealing to hunger, we grant, is not 
ill-conceived ; if this were ineffectual, the devil, as an art- 
ful tactician, should have had a yet more alluring tempta- 
tion at hand ; but instead of this, we find him, in Matthew, 
proposing to Jesus the neck-breaking feat of casting him- 
self down from the pinnacle of the Temple — a far less 
inviting miracle than the metamorphosis of the stones. 
This proposition finding no acceptance, there follows, as a 
crowning effort, a suggestion which, whatever might be 
the bribe, every true Israelite would instantly reject with 
abhorrence — to fall down and worship the devil.* 

^ JJlfen yesu, iL 54. The close resemblance between the trial of Israel in 
the wilderness and this of Jesus is drawn in his own masterly way. 


Not so ! The scapegoat was a perpetual act of 
worship to the Devil. In this story of the temptation 
of Christ there enter some characteristic elements of the 
temptation of Job.^ Uz in the one case and the wilder- 
ness in the other mean morally the same, the region ruled 
over by Azazel. In both cases the trial is under divine 
direction. And the trial is in both cases to secure a divi- 
sion of worship between the good and evil powers, which 
was so universal in the East that it was the test of excep- 
tional piety if one did not swerve from an unmixed sacrifice. 
Jesus is apparently abandoned by the God in whom he 
trusted ; he is * driven '. into a wilderness, and there kept 
with the beasts and without food. The Devil alone 
comes to him; exhibits his own miraculous pow6r by 
bearing him through the air to his own Mount Seir, and 
showing him the whole world in a moment of time ; and 
now says to him, as it were, ' Try your God ! See if he 
will even turn stones into bread to save his own son, to 
whom I offer the kingdoms of the world ! ' Then bearing 
him into the * holy hill * of his own God — the pinnacle of 
the Temple — says, * Try now a leap, and see if }ie saves 
from being dashed to pieces, even in his own precincts, 
his so trustful devotee, whom I have borne aloft so safely ! 
Which, then, has the greater power to protect, enrich, 
advance you, — he who has left you out here to starve, so 
that you dare not trust yourself to him, or I ? Fall down 
then and worship me as your God, and all the world is 

^ A passage of the Pesikta (iii. 35) represents a conversation between 
Jehovah and Satan with reference to Messias which bears a resemblance to 
the prologue of Job. Satan said : Lord, permit me to tempt Messias and 
his generation. ' To him the Lord said : You could have no power over him. 
Satan again said : Permit me because I have the power. God answered : 
If you persist longer in this, rather would I destroy thee from the world, than 
that one soul of the generation of Messias should be lost.' Though the 
rabbin might report the trial declined, the christian would claim it to have 
been endured. 


yours ! It is the world you are to reign over : rule it in 
my name ! 

When St Anthony is tempted by the Devil in the form 
of a lean monk, it was easy to see that the hermit was 
troubled with a vision of his own emaciation. When the 
Devil appears to Luther under guise of a holy monk, it 
is an obvious explanation that he was impressed by a 
memory of the holy brothers who still remained in the 
Church, and who, while they implored his return, pointed 
out the strength and influence he had lost by secession. 
Equally simple are the moral elements in the story of 
Christ's temptation. While a member of John's ascetic 
community, for which 'though he was rich he became 
poor,' hunger, and such anxiety about a living as victi- 
mises many a young thinker now, must have assailed him. 
Later on his Devil meets him on the Temple, quotes 
scripture, and warns him that his visionary God will not 
raise him so high in the Church as the Prince of this 
World can.^ And finally, when dreams of a larger union, 
including Jews and Gentiles, visited him, the power that 
might be gained by connivance with universal idolatry 
would be reflected in the offer of the kingdoms of the 
world in payment for the purity of his aims and single- 
ness of his worship. 

That these trials of self-truthfulness and fidelity, oc- 
curring at various phases of life, would be recognised, 
is certain. A youth of high position, as Christ pro- 
bably was,2 or even one with that great powet over the 
people which all concede, was, in a worldly sense, * throw- 

^ In his fresco of the Temptation at the Vatican, Michael Angelo has 
painted the Devil in the dress of a priest, standing with Jesus on the 

• * Idols and Ideals.* London : Triibner & Co. New York : Heniy 
Holt & Co. In the Essay on Christianity I have given my reasons for this 


ing away his prospects;' and this voice, real in its 
time, would naturally be conventionalised. It would put 
on the stock costume of devils and angels; and among 
Jewish christians it would naturally be associated with 
the forty-days' fast of Moses (Exod. xxxiv. 28; Deut. 
ix. 9), and that of Elias (i Kings xix. 8), and the forty- 
years* tBial of Israel in the wilderness. Among Greek 
christians some traces of the legend of Herakles in his 
seclusion as herdsman, or at the cross-roads between Vice 
and Virtue, might enter ; and it is not impossible that 
some touches might be added from the Oriental myth 
which invested Buddha. 

However this may be, we may with certainty repair to 
the common source of all such myths in the higher nature 
of man, and recognise the power of a pure genius to over- 
come those temptations to a success unworthy of itself. 
We may interpret all such legends with a clearness pro- 
portioned to the sacrifices we have made for truth and 
ideal right ; and the endless perplexities of commentators 
and theologians about the impossible outward details of 
the New Testament story are simple confessions that the 
great spirit so tried is now made to label with his name 
his own Tempter — namely, a Church grown powerful and 
wealthy, which, as the Prince of this World, bribes the 
conscience and tempts away the talent necessary to the 
progress of mankind. 

( iQO ) 



A * Morality' at Tours— The * St. Anthony* of Spagnoletto— Bunyan's 
Pilgrim— Milton on Christ's Temptation—An Edinburgh saint 
and Unitarian fiend— A haunted Jewess— Conversion by fever- 
Limit of courage— Woman and sorcery — Luther and the Devil 
— The ink-spot at Wartburg — Carlyle's interpretation — The 
cowled devil— Carlyle's trial— In Rue St. Thomas d'Enfer— The 
Everlasting No— Devil of Vau vert— The latter-day conflict— New 
conditions— The Victory of Man— The Scholar and the World. 

A REPRESENTATION of the Temptation of St. Anthony 
(marionettes), which I witnessed at Tours (1878), had 
several points of significance. It was the mediaeval * Mora- 
lity' as diminished by centuries, and conventionalised 
among those whom the centuries mould in way« and for 
ends they know not Amid a scenery of grotesque devils, 
rudely copied from Callot, St. Anthony appeared, and 
was tempted in a way that recalled the old pictures. 
There was the same fair Temptress, in this case the wife 
of Satan, who warns her lord that his ugly devils will be 
of no avail against Anthony, and that the whole affair 
should be confided to her. She being repelled, the rest of 
the performance consisted in the devils continually ring- 
ing the bell of the hermitage, and finally setting fire to it 
This conflagration was the supreme torment of Anthony 
— and, sooth to say, it was a fairly comfortable abode — 
who utters piteous prayers and is presently comforted 
by an angel bringing him wreaths of evergreen. 


The prayers of the saint and the response of the angel 
were meant to be seriously taken ; but their pathos was 
g^enerally met with pardonable laughter by the crowd in 
the booth. Yet there was a pathos about it all, if only 
this, that the only temptations thought of for a saint were 
a sound and quiet house and a mistress. The bell-noise 
alone remained from the great picture of Spagnoletto at 
Siena, where the unsheltered old man raises his deprecat- 
ing hand against the disturber, but not his eyes from the 
book he reads. In Spagnoletto's picture there are five 
large books, pen, ink, and hour-glass ; but there is neither 
hermitage to be burnt nor female charms to be resisted. 

But Spagnoletto, even in his time, was beholding the 
vision of exceptional men in the past, whose hunger and 
thirst was for knowledge, truth, and culture, and who 
sought these in solitude. Such men have so long left the 
Church familiar to the French peasantry that any repre- 
sentation of their temptations and trials would be out of 
place among the marionettes. The bells which now dis- 
turb them are those that sound from steeples. 

Another picture loomed up before my eyes over the 
puppet performance at Tours, that which for Bunyan 
frescoed the walls of Bedford Gaol. There, too, the old 
demons, giants, and devils took on grave and vast forms, 
and reflected the trials of the Great Hearts who withstood 
the Popes and Pagans, the armed political Apollyons and 
the Giant Despairs, who could make prisons the hermitages 
of men born to be saviours of the people. 

Such were the temptations that Milton knew ; from his 
own heart came the pigments with which he painted the 
trial of Christ in the wilderness. ' Set women in his eye,' 
said Belial : — 

Women, when nothing else, beguiled the heart 
Of wisest Solomon, and made him build, 
And made him bow to the gods of his wives. 


To whom quick answer Satan thus returned. 
Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'st 
All others by thyself. . . . 
But he whom we attempt is wiser far 
Than Solomon, of more exalted mind. 
Made and set wholly on the accomplishment 
Of greatest things. . • . 
Therefore with manlier objects we must try 
His constancy, with such as have more show 
Of worth, of honour, glory, and popular praise ; 
Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wrecked.^ 

The progressive ideas which Milton attributed to Satan 
have not failed. That Celestial City which Bunyan found 
it so hard to reach has now become a metropolis of wealth 
and fashion, and the trials which once beset pilgrims toil- 
ing towards it are now transferred to those who would 
pass beyond it to another city, seen from afar, with temples 
of Reason and palaces of Justice. 

The old phantasms have shrunk to puppets. The triaJs 
by personal devils are relegated to the regions of insanity 
and disease. It is everywhere a dance of puppets though 
on a cerebral stage. A lady well known in Edinburgh 
related to me a terrible experience she had with the 
devil. She had invited some of her relations to visit 
her for some days; but these relatives were Unitarians, 
and, after they had gone, having entered the room which 
they had occupied, she was seized by the devil, thrown on 
the floor, and her back so strained that she had to keep 
her bed for some time. This was to her * the Unitarian 
fiend * of which the Wesleyan Hymn-Book sang so long ; 
but even the Wesley ans have now discarded the famous 
couplet, and there must be few who would not recognise 
that the old lady at Edinburgh merely had a tottering 
body representing a failing mind. 

I have just read a book in which a lady in America relates 
her trial by the devil. This lady, in her girlhood, was of 

1 • Paradise Regained,* ii. 


a christian family, but she married a rabbi and was 
baptized into Judaism. After some years of happy life a 
terrible compunction seized her ; she imagined herself lost 
for ever; she became ill. A christian (Baptist) minister 
and his wife were the evil stars in her case, and with what 
terrors they surrounded the poor Jewess may be gathered 
from the following extract. 

* She then left me — ^that dear friend left me alone to my 
God, and to him I carried a lacerated and bleeding heart, 
and laid it at the foot of the cross, as an atonement for the 
multiplied sins I had committed, whether of ignorance or 
wilfulness ; and how shall I proceed to portray the heart- 
felt agonies of that night preceding my deliverance from 
the shafts of Satan } Oh! this weight, this load of sin, 
this burden so intolerable that it crushed me to the earth ; 
for this was a dark hour with me — the darkest ; and I lay 
calm, to all appearance, but with cold perspiration drench- 
ing me, nor could I close my eyes ; and these words again 
smote my ear. No redemption, no redemption ; and the 
tempter came, inviting me, with all his blandishment and 
power, to follow him to his court of pleasure. My eyes 
were open ; I certainly saw him, dressed in the most phan- 
tastic shape. This was no illusion ; for he soon assumed 
the appearance of one of the gay throng I had mingled 
with in former days, and beckoned me to follow. I was 
awake, and seemed to lie on the brink of a chasm, and 
spirits were dancing around me, and I made some slight 
outcry, and those dear girls watching with me came to me, 
and looked at me. They said I looked at them but could 
not speak, and they moistened my lips, and said I was 
nearly gone ; then I whispered, and they came and looked 
at me again, but would not disturb me. It was well they 
did not; for the power of God was over me, and angels 
were around me, and whispering spirits near, and I whis- 



pered in sweet communion with them, as they surrounded 
me, and, pointing to the throne of grace, said, * Behold T 
and I felt that the glory of God was about to manifest 
itself; for a shout, as if a choir of angels had tuned their 
golden harps, burst forth in, * Glory to God on high,' and 
died away in softest strains of melody. I lifted up my 
eyes to heaven, and there, so near as to be almost within 
my reach, the brightest vision of our Lord and Saviour 
stood before me, enveloped with a light, ethereal mist, 
so bright and yet transparent that his divine figure 
could be seen distinctly, and my eyes were riveted upon 
him ; for this bright vision seemed to touch my bed, 
standing at the foot, so near, and he stretched forth 
his left hand toward me, whilst with the right one he 
pointed to the throne of grace, and a voice came, say- 
ing, * Blessed are they who can see God ; arise, take 
up thy cross and follow me; for though thy sins be as 
scarlet they shall be white as wool.* And with my 
eyes fixed on that bright vision, I saw from the hand 
stretched toward me great drops of blood, as if from each 
finger ; for his blessed hand was spread open, as if in 
prayer, and those drops fell distinctly, as if upon the 
earth ; and a misty light encircled me, and a voice again 
said, * Take up thy cross and follow me ; for though 
thy sins be as scarlet they shall be white as wool.' 
And angels were all around me, and I saw the throne of 
heaven. And, oh ! the sweet calm that stole over my 
senses. It must have been a foretaste of heavenly bliss. 
How long I lay after this beautiful vision I know not ; 
but when I opened my eyes it was early dawn, and I felt 
so happy and well. My young friends pressed around 
my bedside, to know how I felt, and I said, * I am well 
and so happy.' They then said I was whispering with 
some one in my dreams all night. I told them angels 


were with me ; that I was not asleep, and I had sweet 
communion with- them, and would soon be well.'* 

That is what the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness 
comes to when dislocated from its time and place, and, 
with its gathered ages of fable, is imported at last to be 
an engine of torture sprung on the nerves of a devout 
woman. This Jewess was divorced from her husband by 
her Christianity; her child died a victim to precocious 
piety ; but what were home and affection in ruins com- 
pared with salvation from that frightful devil seen in her 
holy delirium } 

History shows that it has always required unusual 
courage for a human being to confront an enemy believed 
to be praeternatural. This Jewess would probably have 
been able to face a tiger for the sake of her husband, but 
not that fantastic devil. Not long ago an English 
actor was criticised because, in playing Hamlet, he 
cowered with fear on seeing the ghost, all his sinews 
and joints seeming to give way; but to me he ap- 
peared then the perfect type of what mankind have 
always been when believing themselves in the presence 
of praeternatural powers. The limit of courage in human 
nature was passed when the foe was one which no earthly 
power or weapon could reach. 

In old times, nearly all the sorcerers and witches were 
women ; and it may have been, in some part, because 
woman had more real courage than man unarmed. 
Sorcery and witchcraft were but the so-called pagan 
rites in their last degradation, and women were the last 
to abandon the declining religion, just as they are the 
last to leave the superstition which has followed it. Their 

* * Henry Luria ; or, the Little Jewish Convert : being contained in the 
Memoir of Mrs. S. T. Cohen, relict of the Rev. Dr. A. H. Cohen, late 
Rabbi of the Synagogue in Richmond, Va.' i860. 


sentiment and aflfection were intertwined with it, and the 
threats of eternal torture by devils which frightened men 
from the old faith to the new were less powerful to shake 
the faith of women. When pagan priests became chris- 
tians, priestesses remained, to become sorceresses. The 
new faith had gradually to win the love of the sex too 
used to martyrdom on earth to fear it much in helL 
And now, again, when knowledge clears away the old 
terrors, and many men are growing indifferent to^all reli- 
gion, because no longer frightened by it, we may expect 
the churches to be increasingly kept up by women alone, 
simply because they went into them more by attraction 
of saintly ideals than fear of diabolical menaces. 

Thomas Carlyle has selected Luther's boldness in the 
presence of what he believed the Devil to illustrate his 
valour. * His defiance of the * Devils ' in Worms,' says Car- 
lyle, * W213 not a mere boast, as the like might be if spoken 
now. It was a faith of Luther's that there were Devils, 
spiritual denizens of the Fit, continually besetting men. 
Many times, in his writings, this turns up; and a most 
small sneer has been grounded on it by some. In the 
room of the Wartburg, where he sat translating the Bible, 
they still show you a black spot on the wall ; the strange 
memorial of one of these conflicts. Luther sat translating 
one of the Psalms ; he was worn down with long labour, 
with sickness, abstinence from food ; there rose before him 
some hideous indefinable Image, which he took for the 
Evil One, to forbid his work ; Luther started up with 
fiend-defiance ; flung his inkstand at the spectre, and it 
disappeared I The spot still remains there ; a curious 
monument of several things. Any apothecary's appren- 
tice can now tell us what we are to think of this appari- 
tion, in a scientific sense ; but the man's heart that dare 
rise defiant, face to face, against Hell itself, can give no 


higher proof of fearlessness. The thing he will quail 
before exists not on this earth nor under it—- fearless 
enough ! *The Devil is aware/ writes he on one occasion, 
'that this does not proceed out of fear in me. I have 
seen and defied innumerable Devils. Duke George/ — of 
Leipzig, a great enemy of his, — * Duke George is not equal 
to one Devil/ far short of a Devil I ' If I had business 
at Leipzig, I would ride into Leipzig, though it rained 
Duke Georges for nine days running.' What a reservoir 
of Dukes to ride into ! ' ^ 

Although Luther's courage certainly appears in this, it 
is plain that his Devil was much humanised as compared 
with the fearful phantoms of an earlier time. Nobody 
would ever have tried an inkstand on the Gorgons, Furies, 
Lucifers of ancient belief. In Luther's Bible the Devil is 
pictured as a monk — a lean monk, such as he himself was 
only too likely to become if he continued his rebellion 
against the Church (Fig. 17). It was against a Devil liable 
to resistance by physical force that he hurled his ink- 
stand, and against whom he also hurled the contents of 
his inkstand in those words which Richter said were half* 

Luther's Devil, in fact, represents one of the last phases 
in the reduction of the Evil Power from a personified 
phantom with which no man could cope, to that imper- 
sonal but all the more real moral obstruction with which 
every man can cope — if only with an inkstand. The 
horned monster with cowl, beads, and cross, is a mere 
transparency, through which every brave heart may recog- 
nise the practical power of wrong around him, the estab- 
lished error, disguised as religion, which is able to tempt 
and threaten him. 
The temptations with menace described — those which, 

^ ' Heroes and Hero-woxship,' It. 


coining upon the weak nerves of women, vanquished their 
reason and heart; that which, in a healthy man, raised 
valour and power — may be taken as side-lights for a 
corresponding experience in the life of a great man now 
living — Carlyle himself. It was at a period of youth when, 
amid the lonely hills of Scotland, he wandered out of har- 
mony with the world in which he lived. Consecrated by 
pious parents to the ministry, he had inwardly renounced 
every dogma of the Church. With genius and culture for 
high work, the world demanded of him low work. Friend- 
less, alone, poor, he sat eating his heart, probably with little 
else to eat Every Scotch parson he met unconsciously 
propounded to that youth the question whether he could 
convert his heretical stone into bread, or precipitate him- 
self from the pinnacle of the Scotch Kirk without bruises ? 
Then it was he roamed in his mystical wilderness, until he 
found himself in the gayest capital of the world, which, 
however, on him had little to bestow but a further sense 
of loneliness. 

' Now, when I look back, it was a strange isolation I 
then lived in. The men and women around me, even 
speaking with me, were but Figures; I had practically 
forgotten that they were alive, that they were not merely 
automatic. In the midst of their crowded streets and 
assemblages, I walked solitary ; and (except as it was my 
own heart, not another's, that I kept devouring) savage 
also, as is the tiger in his jungle. Some comfort it would 
have been, could I, like a Faust, have fancied myself 
tempted and tormented of a Devil ; for a Hell, as I 
imagine, without Life, though only diabolic Life, were 
more frightful : but in our age of DownpuUing and Dis- 
belief, the very Devil has been pulled down — you cannot 
so much as believe in a Devil. To me the Universe was 
all void of Life, of Purpose, of Volition, even of Hostility : 


it was one huge, dead, immeasurable, Steam-engine, roll- 
ing on, in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from 
limb. Oh, the vast gloomy, solitary Golgotha, and Mill 
of Death ! Why was the Living banished thither, com- 
panionless, conscious ? Why, if there is no Devil ; nay, 
unless the Devil is your God ?' . . . 

* From suicide a certain aftershine of Christianity with- 
held me.' . . . 

* So had it lasted, as in bitter, protracted Death-agony, 
through long years. The heart within me, unvisited by 
any heavenly dewdrop, was smouldering in sulphurous, 
slow-consuming fire. Almost since earliest memory I 
had shed no tear ; or once only when I, murmuring half- 
audibly, recited Faust's Deathsong, that wild Selig der den 
er im Siegesglanze findet (Happy whom he finds in Battle's 
splendour), and thought that of this last Friend even I was 
not forsaken, that Destiny itself could not doom me not 
to die. Having no hope, neither had I any definite fear, 
were it of Man or of Devil ; nay, I often felt as if it might 
be solacing could the Arch-Devil himself, though in Tar- 
tarean terrors, rise to me that I might tell him a little of 
my mind. And yet, strangely enough, I lived in a con- 
tinual, indefinite, pining fear; tremulous, pusillanimous, 
apprehensive of I knew not what ; it seemed as if all 
things in the Heavens above and the Earth beneath 
would hurt me; as if the Heavens and the Earth were 
but boundless jaws of a devouring monster, wherein I, 
palpitating, waited to be devoured. 

' Full of such humour, and perhaps the miserablest man 
in the whole French Capital or Suburbs, was I, one sultry 
Dogday, after much perambulation, toiling along the dirty 
little Rue Sainte Thomas de VEnfer^ among civic rubbish 
enough, in a close atmosphere, and over pavements hot as 
Nebuchadnezzar's Furnace ; whereby doubtless my spirits 


were little cheered ; when all at once there rose a Thought 
in me, and I asked myself, 'What art thou afraid of? 
Wherefore, like a coward, dost thou for ever pip and 
whimper, and go cowering and trembling? Despicable 
biped I what is the sum-total of the worst that lies before 
thee ? Death ? Well, Death ; and say the pangs of 
Tophet too, and all that the Devil or Man may, will, or can 
do against thee ! Hast thou not a heart ; canst thou not 
suffer whatsoever it be; and, as a Child of Freedom, 
though outcast, trample Tophet itself under thy feet, 
while it consumes thee ! Let it come, then ; I will meet 
it and defy it I ' And as I so thought, there rushed like a 
stream of fire over my whole soul; and I shook base 
Fear away from me for ever. I was strong, of unknown 
strength; a spirit, almost a god. Ever from that time 
the temper of my misery was changed: not Fear or 
whining Sorrow was it, but Indignation and grim fire* 
eyed Defiance. 

* Thus had the EVERLASTING No pealed authoritatively 
through all the recesses of my Being, of my Me; and then 
was it that my whole Me stood up, in native God-created 
majesty and with emphasis recorded its Protest. Such a 
Protest, the most important transaction in Life, may that 
same Indignation and Defiance, in a psychological point 
of view, be fitly called. The Everlasting No had said, 
* Behold thou art fatherless, outcast, and the Universe is 
mine (the Devil's) ; ' to which my whole Me now made 
answer, • / am not thine, but Free, and for ever hate 
thee ! • 

' It is from this hour that I incline to date my spiritual 
New Birth, or Baphometic fire-baptism ; perhaps I directly 
thereupon began to be a Man.' ^ 

Perhaps he who so uttered his Apage Satana did not 

^ ' Sartor Resartos.' London : Chapman & llall, 1869, p. 160. 


recognise amid what haunted Edom he wrestled with his 
Phantom. Saint Louis, having invited the Carthusian 
monks to Paris, assigned them a habitation in the Fau-: 
bourg Saint-Jacques, near the ancient chateau of Vauvert, 
a manor built by Robert (le Diable), but for a long time 
then uninhabited, because infested by demons, which had, 
perhaps, been false coiners. Fearful howls had been heard 
there, and spectres seen, dragging chains ; and, in par- 
ticular, it was frequented by a fearful green monster, 
serpent and man in one, with a long white beard, wielding 
a huge club, with which he threatened all who passed that 
way. This demon, in common belief, passed along the road 
to and from the chateau in a fiery chariot, and twisted the 
neck of every human being met on his way. He was called 
the Devil of Vauvert. The Carthusians were not frightened 
by these stories, but asked Louis to give them the Manor, 
which he did, with all its dependencies. After that nothing 
more was heard of the Diable Vauvert or his imps. It was 
but fair to the Demons who had assisted the friars in obtain- 
ing a valuable property so cheaply that the street should 
thenceforth bear the name of Rue d'Enfer, as it does. But 
the formidable genii of the place haunted it still, and, in 
the course of time, the Carthusians proved that they could 
use with effect all the terrors which the Devils had left 
behind them. They represented a great money-coining 
Christendom with which free-thinking Michaels had to con- 
tend, even to the day when, as we have just read, one of 
the bravest of these there encountered his Vauvert devil 
and laid him low fox ever. 

I well remember that wretched street of St. Thomas 
leading into Hell Street, as if the Parisian authorities, 
remembering that Thomas was a doubter, meant to re- 
mind the wayfarer that whoso doubteth is damned. Near 
by is the convent of St. Michael, who makes no war 


on the neighbouring Rue Dragon. All names — mere 
idle names ! Among the thousands that crowd along t 

them, how many pause to note the quaintness of the 
names on the street-lamps, remaining there from fossil 
fears and phantom battles long turned to fairy lore. Yet 
amid them, on that sultry day, in one heart, was fought 
and won a battle which summed up all their sense and 
value. Every Hell was conquered then and there when 
Fear was conquered. There, when the lower Self was cast 
down beneath the poised spear of a Free Mind, St Michael 
at last chained his dragon. There Luther's inkstand was 
not only hurled, but hit its mark ; there, * Get thee behind 
me,' was said, and obeyed; there Buddha brought the 
archfiend Mara to kneel at his feet. 

And it was by sole might of a Man. Therefore may 
this be emphasised as the temptation and triumph which 
have for us to-day the meaning of all others. 

A young man of intellectual power, seeing beyond all 
the conventional errors around him, without means, feel- 
ing that ordinary work, however honourable, would for 
him mean failure of his life — because failure to con- 
tribute his larger truth to mankind — he finds the ter- 
rible cost of his aim to be hunger, want, a life passed amid 
suspicion and alienation, without sympathy, lonely, un- 
loved — and, alas I with a probability that all these losses 
may involve loss of just what they are incurred for, the 
power to make good his truth. After giving up love and 
joy, he may, after all, be unable to give living service 
to his truth, but only a broken body and shed blood. 
Similar trials in outer form have been encountered again 
and again; not only in the great temptations and triumphs 
of sacred tradition, but perhaps even more genuinely in 
the unknown lives of many pious people all over the 
world, have hunger, want, suffering, been conquered by 


faith. But rarely amid doubts. Rarely in the way of 
Saint Thomas, in no fear of hell or devil, nor in any hope 
of reward in heaven, or on earth ; rarely indeed without 
any feeling of a God taking notice, or belief in angels 
waiting near, have men or women triumphed utterly over 
self. All history proves what man can sacrifice on earth 
for an eternal weight of glory above. We know how 
cheerfully men and women can sing at the stake, when 
they feel the fire consuming them to be a chariot bearing 
them to heaven. We understand the valour of Luther 
marching against his devils with his hymn, 'Ein feste 
Burg ist unser Gott/ But it is important to know what 
man's high heart is capable of without any of these en- 
couragements or aids, what man's moral force when he 
feels himself alone. For this must become an increasingly 
momentous consideration. 

Already the educated youth of our time have followed 
the wanderer of threescore years ago into that St. Thomas 
d'Enfer Street, which may be morally translated as the 
point where man doubts every hell he does not feel, and 
every creed he cannot prove. The old fears and hopes 
are fading faster from the minds around us than from 
their professions. There must be very few sane people 
now who are restrained by fear of hell, or promises of 
future reward. What then controls human passion and 
selfishness.^ For many, custom; for others, hereditary 
good nature and good sense ; for some, a sense of honour ; 
for multitudes, the fear of law and penalties. It is very 
difficult indeed, amid these complex motives, to know how 
far simple human nature, acting at its best, is capable of 
heroic endurance for truth, and of pure passion for the 
right. This cannot be seen in those who intellectually 
reject the creed of the majority, but conform to its 
standards and pursue its worldly advantages. It must 


be seen, if at all, in those who are radically severed from 
the conventional aims of the world, — who seek not its 
wealth, nor its honours, decline its proudest titles, defy its 
authority, share not its prospects for time or eternity. 
It must be proved by those, the grandeur of whose aims 
can change the splendours of Paris to a wilderness. These 
may show what man, as man, is capable of, what may 
be his new birth, and the religion of /his simple manhood. 
What they think, say, and do is not prescribed either by 
human or supernatural command ; in them you do not 
see what society thinks, or sects believe, or what the 
populace applaud. You see the individual man building 
his moral edifice, as genuinely as birds their nests, by law 
of his own moral constitution. It is a great thing to know 
what those edifices are, for so at last every man will have 
to build if he build at all. And if noble lives cannot be 
so lived, we may be sure the career of the human race will 
be downhill henceforth. For any unbiassed mind may 
judge whether the tendency of thought and power lies 
toward or away from the old hopes and fears on which 
the regime of the past was founded. 

A great and wise Teacher of our time, who shared with 
Carlyle his lonely pilgrimage, has admonished his genera- 
tion of the temptations brought by talent, — selfish use of 
it for ambitious ends on the one hand, or withdrawal into 
fruitless solitude on the other; and I cannot forbear clos- 
ing this chapter with his admonition to his young country- 
men forty years ago.^ 

* Public and private avarice makes the air we breathe 
thick and fat. The scholar is decent, indolent, com- 
placent. See already the tragic consequence. The mind 

* *The American Scholar.* An Oration delivered before the Phi BeU 
Kappa Society at Cambridge (Massachusetts), August 31, 1837. By Ralph 
Waldo Emersoa. 


of this countr>% taught to aim at low objects, eats upon 
itself. There is no work for any but the decorous and the 
complacent Young men of the fairest promise, who 
begin life upon our shores, inflated by the mountain winds, 
shined upon by all the stars of God, find the earth below 
not in unison with these, — but are hindered from action by 
the disgust which the principles on which business is 
managed inspire and turn drudges, or die of disgust, — 
some of them suicides. What is the remedy ? They did 
not yet see, and thousands of young men as hopeful, now 
crowding to the barriers for the career, do not yet see, 
that if the single man plant himself indomitably on his 
instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round 
to him. Patience — patience ; — ^with the shades of all the 
good and great for company ; and for solace, the perspec- 
tive of your own infinite life ; and for work, the study and 
the communication of principles, the making those in- 
stincts prevalent, the conversion of the world. Is it not the 
chief disgrace in the world — not to be an unit ; not to be 
reckoned one character ; not to yield that peculiar fruit 
which each man was created to bear, — but to be reckoned 
in the gross, in the hundred, in the thousand of the party, 
the section, to which we belong; and our opinion predicted 
geographically, as the north or the south } Not so, bro- 
thers and friends, — please God, ours shall not be so. We 
will walk on our own feet ; we will work with our own 
hands ; we will speak our own minds.' 

( 206 ) 



Hindu myth — Gnostic theories — Ophite scheme of redemption — 
Rabbinical traditions of primitive man — Pauline Pessimism — 
Law of death— Satan's ownership of man — Redemption of the 
elect — Contemporary statements — Baptism — Exorcism — The 
* new man's * food — Eucharist — Herbert Spencer's explanation — 
Primitive ideas — Legends of Adam and Seth — Adamites — ^A 
Mormon 'Mystery' of initiation. 

In a Hindu myth, Dhrubo, an infant devotee, passed much 
time in a jungle, surrounded by ferocious beasts, in devo- 
tional exercises of such extraordinary merit that Vishnu 
erected a new heaven for him as the reward of his piety. 
Vishnu even left his own happy abode to superintend the 
construction of this special heaven. In Hebrew mytho- 
logy the favourite son, the chosen people, is called out of 
Egypt to dwell in a new home, a promised land, not in 
heaven but on earth. The idea common to the two is that 
of a contrast between a natural and a celestial environ- 
ment, — a jungle and beasts, bondage and distress ; a new 
heaven, a land flowing with milk and honey, — ^and the 
correspondence with these of the elect child, Dhrubo or 

The tendency of Christ's mind appears to have been 
rather in the Aryan direction ; he pointed his friends to a 
kingdom not of this world, and to his Father's many man- 
sions in heaven. But the Hebrew faith in a messianic 


reign in this world was too strong for his dream ; a new 
earth was appended to the new heaven, and became gra- 
dually paramount, but this new earth was represented 
only by the small society of believers who made the body 
of Christ, the members in which his blood flowed. 

That great cauldron of confused superstitions and mys- 
ticisms which the Roman Empire became after the over- 
throw of Jerusalem, formed a thick scum which has passed 
under the vague name of Gnosticism. The primitive 
notions of all races were contained in it, however, and 
they gathered in the second and third centuries a certain 
consistency in the system of the Ophites. In the begin- 
ning existed Bythos (the Depth) ; his first emanation and 
consort is Ennoia (Thought) ; their first daughter is 
Pneuma (Spirit), their second Sophia (Wisdom). Sophia's 
emanations are two — one perfect, Christos ; the other 
imperfect, Sophia- Achamoth, — who respectively guide 
all that proceed from God and all that proceed from 
Matter. Sophia, unable to act directly upon anything so 
gross as Matter or unordered as Chaos, employs her im- 
perfect daughter Sophia-Achamoth for that purpose. But 
she, finding delight in imparting life to inert Matter, be- 
came ambitious of creating in the abyss a world for herself. 
To this end she produced the Demiurgus Ildabaoth (other- 
wise Jehovah) to be creator of the material world. After 
this Sophia-Achamoth shook off Matter, in which she had 
become entangled ; but Ildabaoth (*son of Darkness') pro- 
ceeded to produce emanations corresponding to those of 
Bythos in the upper universe. Among his creations was 
Man, but his man was a soulless monster crawling on the 
ground. Sophia-Achamoth managed to transfer to Man 
the small ray of divine light which Ildabaoth had inherited 
from her. The * primitive Man ' became thus a divine 
being. Ildabaoth, now entirely evil, was enraged at having 


produced a being who had become superior to himself, 
and his envy took shape in a serpent-formed Satan, Ophuh 
morphos. He is the concentration of all that is most base 
in Matter, conjoined with a spiritual intelligence. Their 
anti-Judaism led the Ophites to identify Ildabaoth as 
Jehovah, and this serpent-son of his as Michael; they 
also called him Samael. Ildabaoth then also created the 
animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, with all their 
evils. Resolving to confine man within his own lower 
domain, he forbade him to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. 
To defeat his scheme, which had all been evolved out of 
her own temporary fall, Sophia- Achamoth sent her own 
genius, also in form of a serpent, Ophis, to induce Man to 
transgress the tyrant's command. Eve supposing Ophis 
the same as Ophiomorphos, regarded the prohibition 
against the fruit as withdrawn and readily ate of it. Man 
thus became capable of understanding heavenly mysteries, 
and Ildabaoth made haste to imprison him in the dungeon 
of Matter. He also punished Ophis by making him eat 
dust, and this heavenly serpent, contaminated by Matter, 
changed from Man's friend to his foe. Sophia- Achamoth 
has always striven against these two Serpents, who bind 
man to the body by corrupt desires ; she supplied man- 
kind with divine light, through which they became sensible 
of their nakedness — the misery of their condition. Ilda- 
baoth's seductive agents gained control over all the off- 
spring of Adam except Seth, type of the Spiritual Man. 
Sophia- Achamoth moved Bythos to send down her per- 
fect brother Christos to aid the Spiritual Race of Seth. 
Christos descended through the seven planetary regions, 
assuming sucessively forms related to each, and entered 
into the man Jesus at the moment of his baptism. Ilda- 
baoth, discovering him, stirred up the Jews to put him to 
death ; but Christos and Sophia, abandoning the material 


body of Jesus on the cross, gave him one made of 
ether. Hence his mother and disciples could not recog- 
nise him. He ascended to the Middle Space, where he 
sits by the right hand of Ildabaoth, though unperceived 
by the latter, and, putting forth efforts for purification of 
mankind corresponding to those put forth by Ildabaoth 
for evil, he is collecting all the Spiritual elements of the 
world into the kingdom which is to overthrow that of the 

Notwithstanding the animosity shown by the Ophites 
towards the Jews, most of the elements in their system are 
plagiarised from the Jews. According to ancient rabbini- 
cal traditions, Adam and Eve, by eating the fruit of the 
lowest region, fell through the six regions to the seventh 
and lowest ; they were there brought under control of the 
previously fallen Samael, who defiled them with his spittle. 
Their nakedness consisted in their having lost a natural 
protection of which only our finger-nails are left; others 
say they lost a covering of hair.^ The Jews also from of 
old contended that Seth was the son of Adam, in whom 
returned the divine nature with which man was originally 
endowed. We have, indeed, only to identify Ildabaoth 
with Elohim instead of Jehovah to perceive that the 
Ophites were following Jewish precedents in attribut- 
ing the natural world to a fiend. The link between the 
two conceptions may be discovered in the writings of 

Paul's pessimistic conception of this world and of 
human nature was radical, and it mainly formed the 

mould in which dogmatic Christianity subsequently took 


^ The relations of this system to those of various countries are stated by 
Professor King in his work ' The Gnostics and their Remains. ' 

' In the Architectural Museum, Westminster, there is an old picture which 
possibly represents the hairy Adam. 



shape. His general theology is a travesty of the creation 
of the world and of man. All that work of Elohim was, 
by implication, natural, that is to say, diabolicaL The 
earth as then created belonged to the Prince of this world, 
who was the author of sin, and its consequence, death. In 
Adam all die. The natural man is enmity against God ; 
he is of the earth earthy; his father is the devil; he cannot 
know spiritual things.' All mankind are born spiritually 
dead. Christ is a new and diviner Demiurgos, engaged 
in the work of producing a new creation and a new 
man. For his purpose the old law, circumcision or un- 
circumcision, are of no avail or importance, but a new 
creature. His death is the symbol of man's death to the 
natural world, his resurrection of man's rising into a new 
world which mere flesh and blood cannot inherit. As 
God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life, the 
Spirit breathes upon the elect of Christ a new mind and 
new heart. 

The ' new creature ' must inhale an entirely new physical 
atmosphere. When Paul speaks of 'the Prince of the 
Power of the Air,' it must not be supposed that he is only 
metaphorical. On this, however, we must dwell for a little. 

* The air,* writes Burton in his 'Anatomy of Melancholy,' 
' The air is not so full of flies in summer as. it is at all 
times of invisible devils. They counterfeit suns and 
moons, and sit on ships' masts. They cause whirlwinds 
of a sudden, and tempestuous storms, which though our 
meteorologists generally refer to natural causes, yet I am 
of Bodine's mind, they are more often caused by those 
aerial devils in their several quarters. Cardan gives much 
information concerning them. His father had one of them, 
an aerial devil, bound to him for eight and twenty years ; 
as Agrippa's dog had a devil tied to his collar. Some 
think that Paracelsus had one confined in his sword pom- 


mel. Others wear them in rings ; ' and so the old man runs 
on, speculating about the mysterious cobwebs collected in 
the ceiling of his brain. 

The atmosphere mentally breathed by Burton and his 
authorities was indeed charged with invisible phantasms ; 
and every one of them was in its origin a genuine intel- 
lectual effort to interpret the phenomena of nature. It is 
not wonderful that the ancients should have ascribed to a 
diabolical source the subtle deaths that struck at them 
from the air. A single breath of the invisible poison of 
the air might lay low the strongest. Even after man had 
come to understand his visible foes, the deadly animal 
or plant, he could only cower and pray before the lurking 
power of miasma and infection, the power of the air. The 
Tyndalls of a primitive time studied dust and disease, 
and called the winged seeds of decay and death * aerial 
devils,* and prepared the way for Mephistopheles (devil of 
smells)^ as he in turn for the bacterial demon of modern 

There were not wanting theologic explanations why 
these malignant beings should find their dwelling-place in 
the air. They had been driven out of heaven. The etherial 
realm above the air was reserved for the good. Of the 
demons the Hindus say, 'Their feet touch not the ground/ 
* What man of virtue is there,' said Titus to his soldiers, 
*who does not know that those souls which are severed 
from their fleshy bodies in battles by the sword are re- 
ceived by the aether — that purest of elements — and joined 
to that company which are placed among the stars; that 
they become gods, daemons, and propitious heroes, and 
show themselves as such to their posterity afterwards ? ' ^ 
Malignant spirits were believed to hold a more undisputed 
sway over the atmosphere than over the earth, although 

^ Josephus, 'Wars of the Tews,* vi. i. 


our planet was mainly in their power, and the subjects of 
the higher empire always a small colony.^ Moreover, 
there was a natural tendency of demons, which originally 
represented earthly evils, when these were conquered by 
human intelligence, to pass into the realm least accessible 
to science or to control by man. The uncharted winds 
became their refuge. 

This belief was general among the Christian Fathers,* 
lasted a very long time even among the educated, and is 
still the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, as any 
one may see by reading the authorised work of Mgr. 
Gaume on * Holy Water ' (p. 305). So long as it was 
admitted among thinking people that the mind was as 
competent to build facts upon theory as theories on fact, 
a great deal might be plausibly said for this atmospheric 
diabolarchy. In the days when witchcraft was first called 
in question, Glanvil argued ' that since this little Spot is 
so thickly peopled in every Atorae of it, 'tis weakness to 
think that all the vast spaces Above and hollows under 
Ground are desert and uninhabited,' and he anticipated 
that, as microscopic science might reveal further popula- 
tions in places seemingly vacant, it would necessitate the 
belief that the regions of the upper air are inhabited.* 
Other learned men concluded that the spirits that lodge 
there are such as are clogged with earthly elements ; the 
baser sort ; dwelling in cold air, they would like to inhabit 
the more sheltered earth. In repayment for broth, and 
various dietetic horrors proffered them by witches, they 
enable them to pass freely through their realm — the air. 

^ Those who wish to pursue the subject may consult Plutarch, Philo, 
Josephus, Diog. Laertius; also Eisenmenger, Wetstein, Eisner, Doughtxi, 
Lightfoot, Sup. Relig., &c. 

' See ' Supernatural Reli^on,' vol. i. ch. 4 and 5, for ample references con< 
ceming these superstitions among both Jews and Christians. 

' ' Saducismus,' p. 53. 



Out of such intellectual atmosphere came Paul's 
sentence (Eph. ii. 2) about * the Prince of the Power of the 
Air/ It was a spiritualisation of the existing aerial de- 
monology. When Paul and his companions carried their 
religious agitation into the centres of learning and wealth, 
and brought the teachings of a Jew to confront the temples 
of Greece and Rome, they found themselves unrelated to 
that great world. It had another habit of mind and feel- 
ing, and the idea grew in him that it was the spirits 
of the Satanic world counteracting the spirit sent on 
earth from the divine world. This animated its fashions, 
philosophy, science, and literature. He warns the Church 
at Ephesus that they will need the whole armour of God, 
because they are wrestling not with mere flesh and blood, 
but against the rulers of the world's darkness, the evil 
spirits in high places — that is, in the Air. 

As heirs of this new nature and new world, with its new 
atmosphere, purchased and endowed by Christ, the Pauline 
theory further presupposes that the natural man, having 
died, is buried with Christ in baptism, rises with him, 
and is then sealed to him by the Holy Ghost. For a 
little time such must still bear about them their fleshy 
bodies, but soon Christ shall come, and these vile 
bodies shall be changed into his likeness; meanwhile 
they must keep their bodies in subjection, even as 
Paul did, by beating it black and blue (u7rci>7rta^a»), 
and await their deliverance from the body of the dead 


world they have left, but which so far is permitted to 
adhere to them. This conception had to work itself out 
in myths and dogmas of which Paul knew nothing. 
*If any man come after me and hate not his father 
and mother, and his own (natural) life also, he can- 
not be my disciple.' The new race with which the new 
creation was in travail was logically discovered to need a 


new Mother as well as a new Father. Every natural 
mother was subjected to a stain that it might be affirmed 

that only one mother was immaculate — she whose con- 


ception was supernatural, not of the Sesh. Marriage 
became an indulgence to sin (whose purchase-money sur- 
vives still in the marriage-fee). The monastery and the 
nunnery represented this new ascetic kingdom ; that 
perilous word 'worldliness* was transmitted to be the 
source of insanity and hypocrisy. 

Happily, the common sense and sentiment of mankind 
have so steadily and successfully won back the outlawed 
interests of life and the world, that it requires some re- 
search into ecclesiastical archaeology to comprehend the 
original significance of the symbols in which it survives. 
The ancient rabbins limited the number of souls which 
hang on Adam to 600,000, but the christian theolo- 
gians extended the figures to include the human race. 
Probably even some orthodox people may be scandalised 
at the idea of the fathers (Irenaeus, for example), that, at 
the Fall, the human race became Satan's rightful property, 
did they see it in the picture copied by Buslaef, from an 
ancient Russian Bible, in possession of Count Uvarof. 
Adam gives Satan a written contract for himself and his 
descendants (Fig. 7). And yet, according to a recent state- 
ment, the Rev. Mr. Simeon recently preached a sermon in 
the Church of St. Augustine, Kilburn, London, *to prove 
that the ruler of the world is the devil. He stated that the 
Creator of the world had given the control of the world to 
one of his chief angels, Lucifer, who, however, had gone to 
grief, and done his utmost to ruin the world. Since then 
the Creator and Lucifer had been continually striving to 
checkmate each other. As Lucifer is still the Prince of 
this world, it would seem that it is not he who has been 
beaten yet' 1 A popular preacher in America, Rev. Dr. 
Talmage, states the case as follows : — 

* 'Eastern Morning News,* quoted in the 'National Reformer,' Decem- 
ber 17, 1877. 


* I turn to the same old book, and I find out that the 
Son of Mary, who was the Son of God, the darling of 
heaven, the champion of the ages, by some called Lord, 
by some called Jesus, by others called Christ, but this 
morning by us called by the three blessed titles, Lord 
Jesus Christ, by one magnificent stroke made it possible 
for us all to be saved. He not only told us that there was 
a hell, but he went into it He walked down the fiery 
steeps. He stepped off the bottom rung of the long ladder 
of despair. He descended into helL He put his bare 
foot on the hottest coal of the fiercest furnace. 

* He explored the darkest den of eternal midnight, and 
then He. came forth lacerated and scarified, and bleeding 
and mauled by the hands of infernal excruciation, to cry 
out to all the ages, * I have paid the price for all those who 
would make me their substitute. By my piled-up groans, 
by my omnipotent agony, I demand the rescue of all those 
who will give up sin and trust in me.' Mercy! mercy! 
mercy! But how am I to get it? Cheap. It will not 
cost you as much as a loaf of bread. Only a penny ? No, 
no. Escape from hell, and all the harps, and mansions, 
and thrones, and sunlit fields of heaven besides in the 
bargain, * without money, and without price.' ' 

These preachers are only stating with creditable can- 
dour the original significance of the sacraments and cere- 
monies which were the physiognomy of that theory of * a 
new creature/ Following various ancient traditions, that 
life was produced out of water, that water escaped the 
primal curse on nature, that devils hate and fear it because 
of this and the saltness of so much of it, many religions 
have used water for purification and exorcism.^ Baptism 

' Much curious information is contained in the work already referred to, 
' L'Elau Benite au Dix-neuvi^roe Si^le.' Par Monsignor Gaume, Protonotaire 
Apostolique. Paris, 1 866. It is there stated that water escaped the curse ; 


is based on the notion that every child is offspring of the 
Devil, and possessed of his demon ; the Fathers agreed 
that all unbaptized babes, even the still-born, are lost; 
and up to the year 1550 every infant was subjected at 
baptism to the exorcism, * I command thee, unclean spirit, 

that salt produces fecundity ; that devils driven off temporarily by the cross 
are efTectually dismissed by holy water ; that St. Vincent, interrupted by a 
storm while preaching, dispersed it by throwing holy water at it ; and he 
advises the use of holy water against the latest devices of the devil — spirit- 
rapping. It must not, however, be supposed that these notions are confined 
to Catholics. Every element in the disquisition of Monsignor Gaume is repre- 
sented in the region where his church is most hated. Mr. James Napier, in 
his recent book on Folklore, shows us the Scotch hastening new-bom babes to 
baptism lest they become * changelings,' and the true meaning of the rite is 
illustrated m a reminiscence of his own childhood. He was supposed to be 
pining under an Evil Eye, and the old woman, or 'skilly,' called in, carefully 
locked the door, now unlocked by her patient, and proceeded as follows : — 
' A sixpence was borrowed from a neighbour, a good fire was kept burning 
in the grate, the door was locked, and I was placed upon a chair in front of 
the fire. The operator, an old woman, took a tablespoon and filled it with 
water. With the sixpence she then lifted as much salt as it would carry, and 
both were put into the water in the spoon. The water was then stirred with 
the forefinger till the salt was dissolved. Then the soles of my feet and the 
palms of my hands were bathed with this solution thrice, and after these bath- 
ings I was made to taste the solution three times. The operator then drew her 
wet forefinger across my brow — called scoring aboon the breath. The remaining 
contents of the spoon she then cast right over the fire, into the hinder part of 
the fire, saying as she did so, ' Gmd preserve freie a' skaith,* These were the 
first words permitted to be spoken during the operation. I was then put in 
bed, and, in attestation of the charm, recovered. To my knowledge this 
operation has been performed within these forty years, and probably in many 
outlying country places it is still practised. The origin of this superstition is 
probably to be found in ancient fire-worship. The great blazing fire was evi- 
dently an important element in the transaction ; nor was this a solitary instance 
in which regard was paid to the fire. I remember being taught that it was 
unlucky to spit into the fire, some evil being likely shortly after to befall those 
who did so. Crumbs left upon the table after a meal were carefully gathered 
and put into the fire. The cuttings from the nails and hair were also put into 
the fire. These freaks certainly look like survivals of fire-worship.* It may 
be well here to refer the reader to what has been said in vol. i. on Demons 
of Fire. The Devil's fear of salt and consequently of water confirmed the 
perhaps earlier apprehension of all fiery phantoms of that which naturally 
quenches flame. 


in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost, that thou come out, and depart from, these infants 
whom our Lord Jesus Christ has vouchsafed to call to his 
holy baptism, to be made members of his body and of his 
holy congregation,' &c. 

A clergyman informed me that he knew of a case in 
which a man, receiving back his child after christening, 
kissed it, and said, ' I never kissed it before, because I 
knew it was not a child of God ; but now that it is, I love it 
dearly.' But why not ? Some even now teach that a white 
angel follows the baptized, a black demon the unbaptized. 

The belief was wide-spread that unbaptized children 
were turned into elves at death. In Iceland it is still told 
as a bit of folk-lore, that when God visited Eve, she kept 
a large number of her children out of sight, * because they 
had not been washed,' and these children were turned into 
elves, and became the progenitors of that uncanny race. 
The Greek Church made so much of baptism, that there 
has been developed an Eastern sect which claims John the 
Baptist as its founder, making little of Christ, who baptized 
none ; and to this day in Russia the peasant regards it as 
almost essential to a right reception of the benedictions of 
Sunday to have been under water on the previous day 
— soap being sagaciously added. The Roman Catholic 
Church, following the provision of the Council of Car- 
thage, still sets a high value on baptismal exorcism ; and 
Calvin refers to a theological debate at the Sorbonne in 
Paris, whether it would not be justifiable for a priest to 
throw a child into a well rather than have it die unbap- 
tized. Luther preserved the Catholic form of exorcism ; 
and, in some districts of Germany, Protestants have still 
such faith in it, that, when either a child or a domestic 
animal is suspected of being possessed, they will send for 
the Romish priest to perform the rite of exorcism. 


Mr, Herbert Spencer has described the class of super- 
stitions out of which the sacrament of the Eucharist has 
grown. * In some cases/ he says, * parts of the dead are 
swallowed by the living, who seek thus to inspire them- 
selves with the good qualities of the dead; and we saw 
(§ 133) t^^t the dead are supposed to be honoured by this 
act. The implied notion was supposed to be associated 
with the further notion that the nature of another being 
inhering in all the fragments of his body^ inheres too in 
the unconsumed part of anything consumed with his body ; 
so that an operation wrought on the remnants of his food 
becomes an operation wrought on the food swallowed, and 
therefore on the swallower. Yet another implication is, 
that between those who swallow different parts of the same 
food some community of nature is established. Hence 
such beliefs as that ascribed by Bastian to some negroes, 
who think that, * on eating and drinking consecrated food, 
they eat and drink the god himself — such god being an 
ancestor, who has taken his share. Various ceremonies 
among savages are prompted by this conception ; as, for 
instance, the choosing a totem. Among the Mosquito 
Indians, 'the manner of obtaining this guardian was to 
proceed to some secluded spot and offer up a sacrifice : 
with the beast or bird which thereupon appeared, in dream 
or in reality, a compact for life was made, by drawing 
blood from various parts of the body.' This blood, sup- 
posed to be taken by the chosen animal, connected the 
two, and the animal's life became so bound up with their 
own that the death of one involved that of the other.' ^ 
And now mark that, in these same regions, this idea 

^ We here get a clue to the origin of various strange ceremonies by which 
men bind themselves to one another. Michelet, in his ' Origines du Droit 
Fran9ais,' writes : ' Boire le sang Tun de Taut re, c'etait pour ainsi dire se faire 
m6me chair. Ce symbole si expressif se trouve chez un grand nombre de 


reappears as a religious observance. Sahagun and Herrera 
describe a ceremony of the Aztecs called * eating the god,' 
Mendieta, describing this ceremony, says, 'They had also 
a sort of eucharist. . . . They made a sort of small idols 
of seeds, . . . and ate them as the body or memory of 
their gods.' As the seeds were cemented partly by the 
blood of sacrificed boys; as their gods were cannibal 
gods; as Huitzilopochtli, whose worship included this 
rite, was the god to whom human sacrifices were most 
extensive ; it is clear that the aim was to establish commu- 
nity with gods by taking blood in common/ ^ 

When, a little time ago, a New Zealand chief showed 
his high appreciation of a learned German by eating his 
eyes to improve his own intellectual vision, the case 
seemed to some to call for more and better protected mis- 
sionaries ; but the chief might find in the sacramental 
communion of the missionaries the real principle of his 
faith. The celebration of the 'Lord's Supper' when a 
Bishop is ordained has only to be * scratched,' as the pro- 
verb says, to reveal beneath it the Indians choosing their 
episcopal totem. As Israel observed the Passover — eating 
together of the lamb whose blood sprinkled on their door- 
posts had marked those to be preserved from the Destroy- 
ing Angel in Egypt — ^they who believed that Jesus was 
Messias tasted the body and blood of their Head, as indi- 
cating the elect out of a world otherwise given over to the 
Destroyer spiritually, and finally to be delivered up to him 
bodily. * He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood 

peuples ; ' and he gives instances from various ancient races. But, as we here 
see, this practice is not originally adopted as a symbol (no practices begin 
as symbols), but is prompted by the belief that a community of nature is thus 
established, and a community of power over one another. 

^ ' Principles of Sociology,' i. ch. xix. Origen says, that a roan eats and 
drinks with demons when he eats flesh and drinks wine offered to idols. 
{Contra Cels, viii. 31.) 


dwelleth in me and I in him.' These were to tread on 
serpents, or handle them unharmed, as it is said Paul did 
They were not really to die, but to fall asleep, that they 
might be changed as a seed to its flower, through literal 
resurrection from the earth. 

We should probably look in vain after any satisfactory 
vestiges of the migration of the superstition concerning 
the mystical potency of food. It is found fully developed 
in the ancient Hindu myth of the struggle between the 
gods and demons for the Amrita, the immortalising nectar, 
one stolen sip of which gave the monster Rdhu the im- 
perishable nature which no other of his order possesses. 
It is found in corresponding myths concerning the gods of 
Asgard and of Olympus, The fall of man in the Iranian 
legend was through a certain milk given by Ahriman to 
the first pair, Meschia and Meschiane. In Buddhist mytho- 
logy* it was eating rice that corrupted the nature of man. 
It was the process of incarnation in the Gilghit legend (i. 
398). The whole story of Persephone turns upon her hav- 
ing eaten the seed of a pomegranate in Hades, by which 
she was bound to that sphere. There is a myth very similar 
to that of Persephone in Japan. There is a legend in the 
Scottish Highlands that a woman was conveyed into the 
secret recesses of the 'men of peace' — the Daoine Shi', 
euphemistic name of uncanny beings, who carry away 
mortals to their subterranean apartments, where beautiful 
damsels tempt them to eat of magnificent banquets. This 
woman on her arrival was recognised by a former acquaint- 
ance, who, still retaining some portion of human benevo- 
lence, warned her that, if she tasted anything whatsoever 
for a certain space of time, she would be doomed to remain 
in that underworld for ever. The woman having taken 
this counsel, was ultimately restored to the society of mor- 
tals. It was added that, when the period named by her 


unfortunate friend had cUpsed, a disenchantmeDt c^ this 
woman's eyes took place, and the viands which had before | 

Fig. 8.— S«TM OrraiJta a Bianch to Adam. 

seemed so tempting she now discovered to consist only of 
the refuse of the earth.^ 

* Dr. James Brawne's ' Histoiy of ihe HtghUntU,' ed. 1855, i. 108. 

ADAM AND SETff. 223 

The difficulty of tracing the ethnical origin of such 
legends as these is much greater than that of tracing their 
common natural origin. The effect of certain kinds of 
food upon the human system is very marked, even apart 
from the notorious effects of the drinks made from the 
vegetative world. The effects of mandrake, opium, tobacco, 
various semi-poisonous fungi, the simplicity with which 
differences of race might be explained by their vegetarian 
or carnivorous customs, would be enough to suggest 
theories of the potency of food over the body and soul of 
man such as even now have their value in scientific specu- 

The Jewish opinion that Seth was the offspring of the 
divine part of Adam was the germ of a remarkable chris- 
tian myth. Adam, when dying, desired Seth to procure 
the oil of mercy (for his extreme unction) from the angels 
guarding Paradise. Michael informs Seth that it can only 
be obtained after the lapse of the ages intervening the 
Fall .and the Atonement. Seth received, however, a small 
branch of the Tree of Knowledge, and was told that when 
it should bear fruit, Adam would recover. Returning, 
Seth found Adam dead, and planted the branch in his 
grave. It grew to a tree which Solomon had hewn down 
for building the temple ; but the workmen could not adapt 
it, threw it aside, and it was used as a bridge over a lake. 
The Queen of Sheba, about to cross this lake, beheld a 
vision of Christ on the cross, and informed Solomon that 
when a certain person had been suspended on that tree 
the fall of the Jewish nation would be near. Solomon in 
alarm buried the wood deep in the earth, and the spot was 
covered by the pool of Bethesda. Shortly before the 
crucifixion the tree floated on that water, and ultimately, 
as the cross, bore its fruit.^ 

* * Aurea Legenda.' The story, as intertwined with that of the discovery 
of the true cross by the Empress Helena, was a fruitful theme for artists. It 


In our old Russian picture (Fig. 8) Seth is shown 
offering a branch of the Tree of Knowledge to his father 
Adam. That it should spring up to be the Tree of Life is 
simply in obedience to Magian and Gnostic theories, which 
generally turn on some scheme by which the Good turns 
against the Evil Mind the point of his own weapon. 
These were the influences which gave to christian doc- 
trines on the subject their perilous precision. The uni- 
versal tradition was that Adam was the first person 
liberated by Christ from hell ; and this corresponded 
with an equally wide belief that all who were saved by the 
death of Christ and his descent into hell were at once 
raised into the moral condition of Adam and Eve before 
the Fall, — to eat the food and breathe the holy air of 

An honest mirror was held up before this theology by the 
christian Adamites. Their movement (second and third 
centuries) was a most legitimate outcome of the Pauline and 
Johannine gospel. The author of this so-called 'heresy,* 
Prodicus, really anticipated the Methodist doctrine of 
' sanctification/ and he was only consistent in admonishing 
his followers that clothing was, in the Bible, the original 
badge of carnal guilt and shame, and was no longer neces- 
sary for those whom Christ had redeemed from the Fall 
and raised to the original innocence of Adam and Eve. 
These believers, in the appropriate climate of Northeni 
Africa, had no difficulty in carrying out their doctrine 
practically, and having named their churches * Paradises,* 
assembled in them quite naked. There is still a supersti- 
tion in the East that a snake will never attack one who 

has been painted in various versions by Angiolo Gaddi in S. Croce at Florence, 
by Pietro della Francesca at Arezzo, and in S. Croce in Ger. at Rome are 
frescoes celebrating Helena in a chapel named from her, but into which persons 
of her sex are admitted only once a year. 


is naked. The same Adamite doctrine — a prelapsarian 
perfection symbolised by nudity — was taught by John 
Picard in Bohemia, and a flourishing sect of ' Adamites * 
arose there in the fifteenth century. The Slavonian 
Adamites of the last century — ^and they are known to 
carry on their services still in secret — not only dispense 
with clothing, but also with sacraments and ceremonies, 
which are for the imperfect, not for the perfected. Again 
and again has this logical result of the popular theology 
appeared, and with increasingly gross circumstances, as the 
refined and intelligent abandon except in name the corre- 
sponding dogmas. It is an impressive fact that Paul's cen- 
tral doctrine of ' a new creature ' is now adopted with most 
realistic orthodoxy by the Mormons of Utah, whose initia- 
tion consists of a dramatic performance on each candidate 
of moulding the body out of clay, breathing in the nostrils, 
the * deep sleep ' presentation of an Eve to each Adam, 
the temptation, fall, and redemption. The 'saints' thus 
made, unfortunately, seem to have equally realistic ideas 
that the Gentiles are adherents of the Prince of this world, 
and their sacramental bands have shown some striking 
imitations of those events of history which, when not 
labelled ' Christian,' are pronounced barbarous. Now 
that the old dogmatic system is being left more and more 
to the ignorant and vulgar to make over into their own 
image and likeness, it may be hoped that elsewhere also 
the error that libels and outrages nature will run to seed ; 
for error, like the aloe, has its period when it shoots up a 
high stem and — dies. 


( 926 ) 



A Hanover relic — Mr. Atkinson on the Dove — ^The Dove in the Old 
Testament— Ecclesiastical symbol — ^Judicial symbol — ^A visioD of 
St. Dunstan's — The witness of chastity — Dove and Serpent — ^Thc 
unpardonable sin — Inexpiable sin among the Jews — Destructive 
power of Jehovah — Potency of the breath — Third persons of 
Trinities — Pentecost — Christian superstitions — Mr. Moody on the 
sin against the Holy Ghost — Mysterious fear — Idols of the cave. 

There is in the old town of Hanover, in Germany, a 
schoolhouse in which, above the teacher's chair, there was 
anciently the representation of a dove perched upon an 
iron branch or rod; and beneath the inscription — 'THIS 


time the dove fell down and was removed to the museum ; 
but there is still left before the children the rod, with the 
admonition that it will lead them into all truth. This is 
about as much as for a long time was left in the average 
christian mind of the symbolical Dove, the Holy Ghost 
Half of its primitive sense departed, and there remained 
only an emblem of mysterious terror. More spiritual 
minds have introduced into the modern world a concep- 
tion of the Holy Ghost as a life-giving influence or a spirit 
of love, but the ancient view which regarded it as the Iron 
Rod of judgment and execution still survives in the notion 
of the ' sin against the Holy Ghost' 

Mr. Henry G. Atkinson writes as follows :^ — * My old 

^ To the 'Secular Chronicle,' February ii, 1877. 


friend Barry Cornwall, the fine poet, once said to me, 'My 
dear Atkinson, can you tell me the meaning of the Holy 
Ghost ; what can it possibly mean Y * Well,' I said, * I 
suppose it means a pigeon. We have never heard of it 
in any other form but that of the dove descending from 
heaven to the Virgin Mary. Then we have the pretty 
fable of the dove returning to the ark with the olive- 
branch, so that the Christian religion may be called the 
Religion of the Pigeon. In the Greek Church the pigeon 
is held sacred. St. Petersburgh is swarming with pigeons, 
but they are never killed or disturbed. I knew a lady 
whose life was made wretched in the belief that she had 
sinned the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost, and 
neither priest nor physician could persuade her out of the 
delusion, though in all other respects she was quite 
sensible. She regarded herself as such a wretch that she 
could not bear to see herself in the glass, and the looking- 
glasses had all to be removed, and when she went to an 
hotel, her husband had to go first and have the looking- 
glasses of the apartments covered over. But what is the 
Holy Ghost — what is its office? Sitting with Miss 
Martineau at her house at Ambleside one day, a German 
lady, who spoke broken English, came in. She was a 
neighbour, and had a large house and grounds, and kept 
fowls. /Oh!* she said, quite excited, 'the beast has 
taken off another chicken (meaning the hawk). I saw it 
myself. The wretch ! it came down just like the Holy 
Ghost, and snatched off the chicken.' How Miss Mar- 
tineau did laugh ; but I don't know that this story throws 
much light upon the subject, since it does but bring us 
back to the pigeon.' 

It would require a volume to explain fully all the pro- 
blems suggested in this brief note, but the more important 
facts may be condensed. 


It is difficult to show how far the natural characteristics 
and habits of the dove are reflected in its wide-spread 
symbolism. Its plaintive note and fondness for soUtudes 
are indicated in the Psalmist's aspiration, ' Oh that I had 
the wings of a dove, then would I fly away and be at rest; 
lo, then would I wander far off", and remain in the wilder- 
ness/ ^ It is not a difficult transition from this association 
with the wilderness to investment with a relationship 
with the demon of the' wilderness — Azazel. So we find it 
in certain passages in Jeremiah, where the word has been 
suppressed in the ordinary English version. ' The land is 
desolate because of the fierceness of the dove.* *Let us go 
again to our own "people to avoid the sword of the dove/ 
'They shall flee away every one for fear of the sword of 
the dove/* In India its lustres — blue and fiery — may 


have connected it with azure-necked Siva. 

The far-seeing and wonderful character of the pigeon as 
a carrier was well known to the ancients. On Egyptian 
bas-reliefs priests are shown sending them with messages^ 
They appear in the branches of the oaks of Dodona, and 
in old Russian frescoes they sometimes perch on the Tree 
of Knowledge in paradise. It is said that, in order to avail 
himself of this universal symbolism, Mohammed trained a 
dove to perch on his shoulder. As the raven was said to 
whisper secrets to Odin, so the dove was often pictured at 
the ear of God. In Ndtre Dame de Chartres, its beak is 
at the ear of Pope Gregory the Great. 

It passed — and did not have far to go — to be the 
familiar of kings. It brought the chrism from heaven at 
the baptism of Clovis. White doves came to bear the 
soul of Louis of Thuringia to heaven. The dove sur- 
mounted the sceptre of Charlemagne. At the consecration 
of the kings of France, after the ceremony of unction, 

1 Psalm Iv. « Jer. xxt. 38 ; xlvL 16; 1. i6. 


white doves were let loose in the church. At the con- 
secration of a monarch in England, a duke bears before 
the sovereign the sceptre with the dove. 

By association with both ecclesiastical and political 
sovereignty, it came to represent very nearly the old fatal 
serpent power which had lurked in all its transformations. 
When the Holy Ghost was represented as a crowned man, 
the dove was pictured on his wrist like that falcon with 
which the German lady, mentioned by Mr. Atkinson, 
identified it. But in this connection its symbolism is more 
especially referable to a passage in Isaiah \^ 'There shall 
come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch 
shall grow out of his roots ; and the Spirit of the Lord 
shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understand* 
ing, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of the know- 
ledge and of the fear of the Lord.' The sanctity of the 
number seven led to the partition of the last clause into 
three spirits, making up the seven, which were : Wisdom, 
Understanding, Counsel, Strength, Knowledge, Piety, Fear. 
In some of the representations of these where each of the 
seven Doves is labelled with its name, * Fear * is at the top 
of their arch, a Psalm having said, ' The fear of the Lord 
is the beginning of wisdom.* When the knightly Order of 
the Holy Ghost was created in 1352, it was aristocratic, 
and, when reorganised by Henry III. of France in 1579, 
it was restricted to magisterial and political personages. 
With them was the spirit of Fear certainly ; and the Order 
shows plainly what had long been the ideas connected 
with the Holy Ghost. 

M. Didron finds this confirmed in the legends of every 
country, and especially refers to a story of St. Dun- 
stan, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the tenth century. 
Three men, convicted of coining false money, had been 

^ Isaiah xi. 2, 3. 


condemned to death. Immediately before the celebration 
of mass on the day of Pentecost, the festival of the Holy 
Ghost, St. Dunstan inquired whether justice had been 
done upon the three criminals : he was informed in reply 
that the execution had been delayed on account of the 
solemn feast of Pentecost then in celebration, * It shall 
not be thus,' cried the indignant archbishop, and gave 
orders for the immediate execution of the guilty men. 
Several of those who were present remonstrated against 
the cruelty of that order; it was nevertheless obeyed. 

After the execution of the criminals, Dunstan washed 
his face, and turned with a joyful countenance towards his 
oratory. ' I now hope,* said he, * that God will be pleased 
to accept the sacrifice I am about to offer;' and in fact, 
during the celebration of mass, at the moment when the 
Saint raised his hands to implore that God the Father 
would be pleased to give peace to his Church, to guide, 
guard, and keep it in unity throughout the world, 'a 
dove, as white as snow, was seen to descend from heaven, 
and during the entire service remained with wings ex- 
tended, floating silently in air above the head of the 

The passionate sexual nature of the dove made it 
emblem of Aphrodite, and it became spiritualised in its 
consecration to the Madonna. From its relation to the 
falsely-accused Mary, there grew around the Dove a 
special class of legends which show it attesting female 
innocence or avenging it. The white dove said to have 
issued from the mouth of Joan of Arc is one of many 
instances. There is still, I believe, preserved in the 
Lyttleton family the picture painted by Dowager Lady 

' The more fatal aspect of the dove has tended to invest the pigeon, espe- 
cially wild pigeons, which in Oldenburg, and many other regions, are supposed 
to bode calamity and death if they fly round a house. 


Lyttleton in 1780, in commemoration of the warning of 
death given to Lord Lyttleton by the mother of two 
girls he had seduced, the vision being attended by a 
fluttering dove. The original account of his vision or 
dream, attributed to Lord Lyttleton, mentions only *a 
bird/ When next told, it is that he 'heard a noise re- 
sembling the fluttering of a dove,* and on looking to the 
window saw 'an unhappy female whom he had seduced/ 
But the exigencies of orthodoxy are too strong for original 
narratives. As the ' bird ' attested an announcement that 
on the third day (that too was gradually added) he would 
die, it must have been a dove ; and as the dove attends 
only the innocent, it must have been the poor girl's mother 
that appeared. It was easy to have the woman die at 
the precise hour of appearance.^ When in Chicago in 
1875, 1 read in one of the morning papers a very particular 
account of how a white dove flew into the chamber window 
of a young unmarried woman in a neighbouring village, 
she having brought forth a child, and solemnly declaring 
that she had never lost her virginity. 

In this history of the symbolism of the Dove the theo- 
logical development of the Holy Ghost has been outlined. 
We have seen in the previous chapter that the Holy Spirit 
is in opposition to the Natural Air, — repository of evils. 
The Dove symbolised this aspect of it in hovering over 
the world emerging from its diluvial baptism* and also 
over the typical new Adam (JesusJ coming from his bap- 
tism. But in this it corresponds with the serpent-symbol 
of life in Egyptian mythology brooding over the primal 
mundane egg (as in Fig. 23, vol. i.). Nathaniel Hawthorne 
found a mystical meaning in the beautiful group at Rome 
representing a girl pressing a dove to her bosom while she 
is attacked by a serpent But in their theological aspects 

1 Sir Nathaniel Wraxall's Memoirs. 


the Dove and the Serpent blend ; they are at once related 
and separated in Christ's words, ' Be ye wise as serpents 
and harmless as doves;' but in the office of the Holy 
Ghost as representing a divine Intelligence, and its con- 
sequent evolution as executor of divine judgments, it 
fulfils in Christendom much the same part as the Serpent 
in the more primitive mythologies. 

* Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven unto men,' 
said a legendary Christ ; ^ ' but the blasphemy against the 
Spirit will not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a 
word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him, but 
whosoever shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it will not 
be forgiven him, neither in this world nor in that to come.' 
In Mark* it is said, 'AH things shall be forgiven unto the 
sons of men, the sins and the blasphemies wherewith they 
shall blaspheme : but whosoever shall blaspheme against 
the Holy Ghost has never forgiveness, but will be guilty 
of everlasting sin ; (because they said, He has an unclean 
spirit).' When Christ uttered these tremendous words, no 
disciple seems to have been startled, or to have inquired 
into the nature of that sin, so much worse than any offence 
against himself or the Father, which has since employed 
so much theological speculation. 

In fact, they needed no explanation : it was an old story; 
the unpardonable sin was a familiar feature of ancient 
Jewish law. Therein the sin excluded from expiation was 
any presumptuous language or action against Jehovah. 
It is easy to see why this was so. Real offences, crimes 
against man or society, were certain of punishment, 
through the common interest and need. But the honour 
and interests of Jehovah, not being obvious or founded in 
nature, required special and severe statutes. The less a 
thing is protected by its intrinsic and practical impor- 

1 Matt xii. 31. > Mark iil 28. 


tance, the more it must, if at all, be artificially pro- 
tected. This is illustrated in the story of Eli and his two 
sons. These youths were guilty of the grossest im- 
moralities, but not a word was said against them, they 
being sons of the High Priest, expept a mild remonstrance 
from Eli himself. But when on an occasion these youths 
tasted the part of the sacrificial meat offered to Jehovah, 
the divine wrath was kindled. Eli, much more terrified at 
this ceremonial than the moral offence, said to his sons, 
* If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him, 
but if a man sin against Jehovah, who shall entreat for 
him?' In protecting his interests, Jehovah's destroying 
angel does not allude to any other offence of Eli's sons 
except that against himself. But when the priestly guar- 
dians of the divine interests came with their people under 
the control of successive Gallios, — aliens who cared not for 
their ceremonial law, and declined to permit the infliction 
of its penalties, as England now forbids suUee in India, — 
the priests could only pass sentences ; execution of them 
had to be adjourned to a future world. 

The doctrine of a future state of rewards and punish- 
ments is not one which a priesthood would naturally pre- 
fer or invent So long as a priesthood possesses the power 
of life and death over the human body, they would not, 
by suggesting future awards, risk the possibility of a 
heresy arising to maintain Deorum injuria diis cura. But 
where an alien jurisdiction has relegated to local deities 
the defence of their own majesty, there must grow up the 
theory that such offences as cannot be expiated on earth 
are unpardonable, and must, because of the legal impunity 
with which they can be committed, be all the more terribly 
avenged somewhere else. 

Under alien influences, also, the supreme and absolute 
government of Jehovah had been divided, as is elsewhere 


described. He who originally claimed the empire of both 
light and darkness, good and evil, when his rivalry against 
other gods was on a question of power, had to be relieved 
of responsibility for earthly evils when the moral sense 
demanded dualism. Thus there grew up a separate per- 
sonification of the destructive power of Jehovah, which had 
been supposed to lodge in his breath. The last breath of 
man obviously ends life ; there is nothing more simple in 
its natural germ than the association of the first breath 
and the last with the Creative Spirit.^ This potency of 
the breath or spirit is found in many ancient regions. It 
is the natural teaching of the destructive simoom,* or even 
of the annual autumnal breath which strikes the foliage 
with death. Persia especially abounded with superstitions 
of this character. By a sorcerer's breath the two serpents 
were evoked from the breast of ZohAk, Nizami has woven 
the popular notion into his story of the two physicians 
who tried to destroy each other; one of whom survived 
his rival's poisonous draught, and killed that rival by 

^ I have before me an account by a diristian mother of the death of her 
child, whom she had dedicated to the Lord before his birth, in which she sajrs, 
' A full breath issued from his mouth like an etherial flame, a slight qaiver of 
the lip, and all was over.' 

' 'Serpent poison.' It is substantially the same word as the demonic 
Samael. The following is from Colonel Campbell's 'Travels/ ii. p. 130: — 
' It was still the hot season of the year, and we were to travel through that 
country over which the horrid wind I have before mentioned sweeps its con- 
suming blasts ; it is called by the Turks Samiel, is mentioned by the holy 
Job under the name of the East wind, and extends its ravages all the way 
from the extreme end of the Gulf of Cambaya up to Mosul ; it carries along 
with it flakes of fire, like threads of silk ; instantly strikes dead those that 
breathe it, and consumes them inwardly to ashes ; the flesh soon becoming 
black as a coal, and dropping off the bones. Philosophers consider it as a 
kind of electric fire, proceeding from the sulphurous or nitrous exhalations 
which are kindled by the agitations of the winds. The only possible means 
of escape from its fatal effects is to fall flat on the ground, and thereby prevent 
the drawing it in ; to do this, however, it is necessary first to see it, which is 
not always practicable.' 


making him smell a flower on which he had breathed.^ 
Such notions as these influenced powerfully the later 
development of the idea of Jehovah, concerning whom it 
was said of old, ' With the breath of his mouth shall he 
slay the wicked ;' 'the breath of the Lord like a stream of 
brimstone doth kindle (Tophet).' 

Meanwhile in all the Trinitarian races which were to 
give form to christian Mythology, destructiveness had 
generally (not invariably) become the traditional r61e of 
the Third Person.* In Egypt there were Osiris the 
Creator, Horus the Preserver, Typhon the Destroyer ; in 
Babylonia, Anu the Upper Air, Sin (Uri) the Moon, Samis 
the Sun. In Assyria the Sun regains his place, and deadly 
influences were ascribed to the Moon. In India, Brahma 
the Father, Vishnu the Saviour, Siva the Destroyer; in 
Persia, Zeru4ne-Akrane Inflnite Time, Ormuzd the Good, 
Ahriman the Evil ; in Greece Zeus, Poseiddn, and HadSs, 
or Heaven, Ocean, and Hell, were the first-born of Time. 
The Trinitarian form had gradually crept in among the 
Jews, though their Jahvistic theology only admitted its 
application to inferior deities — Cain, Abel, Seth ; Moses, 
Aaron, Hur ; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. As time went on, 
these succeeded the ideas of Jehovah, Messias, and Wis- 
dom. But already the serpent was the wisest of all the 
beasts of the field in Jewish mythology ; and the personi- 
fied Wisdom was fully prepared to be identified with 
Athene, the Greek Wisdom, who sprang armed from the 
head of Zeus (the Air), and whose familiar was a serpent. 

On the other hand, however, the divine Breath had also 
its benign significance. Siva (' the auspicious ') inherited 

^ The ' Sacred Anthology/ p. 425. Nizami nses his fable to illustrate the 
eflfect of even an innocent flower on one whom conscience has made a coward. 

' Nothing is more natural than the Triad : the regions which may be most 
simply distinguished are the Upper, Middle, and Lower. 


the character of Rudra (* roaring storm '), but it was rather 
supported later on by his wife Kdli. Athena though 
armed was the goddess of agriculture. The breath of 
Elohim had given man life. ' I now draw in and now let 
forth/ says Krishna ; ^ ' I am generation and dissolution ; 
I am death and immortality/ *Thou wilt fancy it the 
dawning zephyr of an early spring/ says Sidi; 'but it is 
the breath of Isa, or Jesus ; for in that fresh breath and 
verdure the dead earth is reviving/ * * The voice of the 
turtle is heard in the land/ sings Solomon. 

When the Third Person of the christian Trinity i«ras 
constituted, it inherited the fatality of all the previous 
Third Persons — the Destroyers — while it veiled them in 
mystery. When the Holy Ghost inspired the disciples 
the account is significant.' ' Suddenly there came a sound 
from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, . . . and there 
appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it 
sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the 
Holy Ghost* This was on the Day of Pentecost, the 
harvest festival, when the first-fruits were offered to the 
quickening Spirit or Breath of nature ; but the destructive 
feature is there also — ^the tongues are cloven like those of 
serpents. The beneficent power was manifest at the gate 
called Beautiful when the lame man was made to walk by 
Peter's power; but its fatal power was with the same 
apostle, and when he said, *Why hath Satan filled thy 
heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?' instantly Ananias fell 
down and gave up the ghost* The spirit was carried, it 
is said, in the breath of the apostles. Its awfulness had 
various illustrations. Mary offered up two doves in token 
of her conception by the Holy Ghost Jesus is described 

1 Bhiivagit-Gita. * Gulistan. » Acts fi. 

^ Compare Gen. vi. 3. Jehovah said, ' My breath shall not always abide 

in man.' 


as scourging from the temple those that sold doves, and 
the allegory is repeated in Peter's denunciation of Simon 
Magus, who offered money for the gift of the Holy 

In one of his sermons Mr. Moody said, ' Nearly every 
day we have somebody coming into the inquiry-room very 
much discouraged and disheartened and cast down, be- 
cause they think they have committed a sin against the 
Holy Ghost, and that there is no hope for them.' Mr. 
Moody said he believed the sin was nearly impossible, 
but he adds this remarkable statement, * I don't remember 
of ever hearing a man swear by the Holy Ghost except 
once, and then I looked upon him expecting him to fall 
dead, and my blood ran cold when I heard him.' But it 

^ Among the many survivals in civilised countries of these notions may be 
noticed the belief that, in order to be free from a spell it is necessary to draw 
blood from the witch above the breath, t.^., mouth and nostrils; to 'score 
aboon the breath ' is a Scottish phrase. This probably came by the ' pagan ' 
route ; but it meets its christian kith and kin in the following story which I 
find in a (MS.) Memorial sent to the House of Lords in 1869 by the Rev. 
Thomas Bemey, Rector of Bracon Ash, Diocese of Norwich : — '* I was sent 
for in haste to privately baptize a child thought to be dying, and belonging to 
parents who lived ' on the Common ' at Hockering. It indeed appeared to 
be very ill, and its eyes were fixed, and remarkably clouded and dull. Having 
baptized, I felt moved with a longing desire to be enabled to heal the child ; 
and I prayed very earnestly to the Lord God Almighty to give me faith and 
strength to enable me to do so. And I put my hands on its head and drew 
them down on to its arms ; and then breathed on its head three times, in the 
name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And as I held its arms and looked on it 
anxiously, its face became exceedingly red and dark, and as the child gra- 
dually assumed a natural colour, the eyes became clear again ; and then it 
gently closed its eyes in sleep. And I told the mother not to touch it any 
more till it awoke ; but to carry it up in the cradle as it was. The next morn- 
ing I found the child perfectly welL She had not touched it, except at four 
in the morning to feed it, when it seemed dead asleep, and it did not awake 
till ten o'clock.' This was written by an English Rector, and dated from the 
Carlton Club I The italics are in the original MS. now before me. The im- 
portance that no earthly hand should profanely touch the body while the spirit 
was at work in it shows how completely systematised is that insanity which 
consists of making a human mind an arena for the survival of the unfittesL 


is almost as rare to hear prayers addressed to the Holy 
Ghost ; and both phenomena — for praying and swearing 
are radically related — ^are no doubt survivals of the ancient 
notions which I have described. The forces of nature out 
of which the symbol grew, the life that springs from death 
and grows by decay, is essentially repeated again by 
those who adhere to the letter that kills» and also by those 
who ascend with the spirit that makes alive. It is pro- 
bable that no more terrible form of the belief in a Devil 
survives than this Holy Ghost Dogma, which, lurking in 
vagueness and mystery, like the serpent of which it was 
born, passes by the self-righteous to cast its shadows over 
the most sensitive and lowly minds, chiefly those of pure 
women prone to exaggerate their least blemishes. 

In right reason the fatal Holy Ghost stands as the type 
of that Fear by which priesthoods have been able to pre- 
serve their institutions after the deities around whom they 
grew had become unpresentable, and which could best be 
fostered beneath the veil of mystery. They who love 
darkness rather than light because their deeds cannot bear 
the light, veil their gods not to abolish them but to pre- 
serve them. Calvinism is veiled, and Athanasianism, 
and Romanism ; they are all veiled idols, whose power 
lives by being hid in a mass of philology and casuistry. 
So long as Christianity can persuade the Pope and Dr. 
Martineau, Dean Stanley and Mr. Moody, Quakers, 
Shakers, Jumpers, all to describe themselves alike as 
' Christians/ its real nature will be veiled, its institutions 
will cumber the ground, and draw away the strength and 
intellect due to humanity ; the indefinable ' infidel ' will be 
a devil. This process has been going on for a long time. 
The serpent-god, accursed by the human mind which grew 
superior to it, has crept into its Ark ; but its fang and 
venom linger with that Bishop breathing on a priest, the 


priest breathing on a sick child^ and bears down side by 
side with science that atmosphere of mystery in which 
creep all the old reptiles that throttle common sense and 
send their virus though all the social frame. 

In demonology the Holy Ghost is not a Devil, but in it 
are reflected the diabolisation of Culture and Progress and 
Art. It was these ' Devils ' which compelled the gods to 
veil themselves through successive ages, and to spiritualise 
their idols and dogmas to save their institutions. The 
deities concealed have proved far more potent over the 
popular imagination than when visible. The indefinable ter- 
rible menace of the Holy Ghost was a consummate reply to 
that equally indefinable spirit of loathing and contempt 
which rises among the cultured and refined towards 
things that have become unreal, their formalities and their 
cant. It is this ever-recurring necessity that enables 
clergymen to denounce belief in Hell and a Devil in 
churches which assuredly would never have been built 
but for the superstition so denounced. The ancient 
beliefs and the present denunciation of them are on the 
same thread, — the determination of a Church to survive and 
hold its power at any and every cost. The Jesuitical power 
to veil the dogma is the most successful method of con- 
fronting the Spirit of an Age, which in the eye of reason 
is the only holy spirit, but which to ecclesiastical power 
struggling with enlightenment is the only formidable 

( 240 ) 



The Kali Age — Satan sifting Simon — Satan as Angel of light 
— Epithets of Antichrist — The Caesars — Nero — Sacraments 
imitated by Pagans — Satanic signs and wonders — Jerome on 
Antichrist — Armillus — AL Dajjail — Luther on Mohammed — 
*Mawmet'— Satan 'God's ape' — Mediaeval notions — ^Witches 
Sabbath — An Infernal Trinity — Serpent of Sins — Antichrist 
Popes — Luther as Antichrist — Modem notions of Antichrist. 

In the *Padma Purana' it is recorded that when King Vena 
embraced heretical doctrine and abjured the temples and 
sacrifices, the people following him, seven powerful Rishis, 
high priests, visited him and entreated him to return to 
their faith. They said, * These acts, O king, which thou 
art performing, are not of our holy traditions, nor fit for 
our religion, but are such as shall be performed by man- 
kind at the entrance of Kali, the last and sinful age, when 
thy new faith shall be received by all, and the service of 
the gods be utterly relinquished/ King Vena, being thus 
in advance of his time, was burned on the sacred grass, 
while a mantra was performed for him. 

This theory of Kali is curious as indicating a final 
triumph of the enemies of the gods. In the Scandinavian 
theory of * Ragnarok,' the Twilight of the gods, there also 
seems to have been included no hope of the future victory 
of the existing gods. In the Parsf faith we first meet 
with the belief in a general catastrophe followed by the 


supremacy and universal sway of good. This faith charac- 
terised the later Hebrew prophecies^ and is the spirit of 
Paul's brave saying, * When all things shall be subjected 
unto him, then also shall the Son himself be subject unto 
him that put all things under him, that God may be all 
in all/ 

When, however, theology and metaphysics advanced 
and modelled this fiery lava of prophetic and apostolic 
ages into dogmatic shapes, evil was accorded an equal 
duration with good. The conflict between Christ and his 
foes was not to end with the conversion or destruction 
of his foes, but his final coming as monarch of the 
world was to witness the chaining up of the Archfiend 
in the Pit 

Christ's own idea of Satan* assuming certain reported 
expressions to have been really uttered by him, must have 
been that which regarded him as a Tempter to evil, whose 
object was to test the reality of faith. 'Simon, Simon, 
behold, Satan asked you for himself, that he might sift 
you as the wheat ; but I made supplication for thee, that 
thy faith fail not; and when once thou hast returned, 
confirm thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am 
ready to go with thee, both into prison and into death. 
And he said, I tell thee, Peter, a cock will not crow this 
day till thou wilt thrice deny that thou knowest me.* ^ 
Such a sentiment could not convey to Jewish ears a de- 
graded notion of Satan, except as being a nocturnal spirit 
who must cease his work at cock-crow. It is an adapta- 
tion of what Jehovah himself was said to do, in the pro- 
phecy of Amos. ' I will not utterly destroy the house of 
Jacob, saith the Lord. ... I will sift the house of Israel 
among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall 
not the least grain fall upon the earth.' ^ 

^ Luke zxii. 31. ' Amos ix. 8, 9. 



Paul, too, appears to have had some such conception 
of Satan, since he speaks of an evil-doer as delivered up 
to Satan ' for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit 
may be saved/ ^ There is, however, in another passage 
an indication of the distinctness with which Paul and his 
friends had conceived a fresh adaptation of Satan as 
obstacle of their work. 'For such,' he says, *are false 
apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into 
apostles of Christ And no marvel : for Satan transforms 
himself into an angel of light. It is no great thing there* 
fore if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers 
of righteousness; whose end will be according to their 
works/ ' It may be noted here that Paul does not think of 
Satan himself as transforming himself to a minister of right- 
eousness, but of Satan's ministers as doing so. It is one of a 
number of phrases in the New Testament which reveal the 
working of a new movement towards an expression of its 
own. Real and far-reaching religious revolutions in history 
are distinguished from mere sectarian modifications, which 
they sum up in nothing more than in their new phraseology. 
When Jehovah, Messias, and Satan are gradually supplanted 
by Father, Christ, and Antichrist (or Man of Sin, False 
Christ, Withholder {tcarexpy), False Prophet, Son of Per- 
dition, Mystery of Iniquity, Lawless One), it is plain that 
new elements are present, and new emergencies. These 
varied phrases just quoted could not, indeed, crystallise 
for a long time into any single name for the new Obstacle 
to the new life, for during the same time the new life itself 
was too living, too various, to harden in any definite shape 
or be marked with any special name. The only New 
Testament writer who uses the word Antichrist is the so- 
called Apostle John ; and it is interesting to remark that 
it is by him connected with a dogmatic statement of the 

* 1 Cor. T. $. ■ 2 Cor. n. 13. 


nature of Christ and definition of heresy. * Every spirit 
that confesses Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God ; 
and every spirit that confesses not Jesus is not of God : and 
this is the spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that 
it comes ; and now it is in the world already/ ^ This lan- 
guage, characteristic of the middle and close of the second 
century,* is in strong contrast with Paul's utterance in the 
first century, describing the Man of Sin (or of lawlessness, 
the son of perdition), as one ' who opposeth and exalteth 
himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; 
so that he sat in the temple of God, showing himself that 
he is God.** Christ has not yet begun to supplant God ; to 
Paul he is the Son of God confronting the Son of Destruc- 
tion, the divine man opposed by the man of sin. When 
the nature. oi Christ becomes the basis of a dogma, the 
man of sin is at once defined as the opponent of that ' 

As this dogma struggled on to its consummation and 
victory, it necessarily took the form of a triumph over the 
Caesars, who were proclaiming themselves gods, and de- 
manding worship as such. The writer of the second Epistle 
bearing Peter's name saw those christians who yielded to 
such authority typified in Balaam, the erring prophet who 
was opposed by the angel ; * the writer of the Gospel of 
John saw the traitor Judas as the ' son of perdition,' * re- 
presenting Jesus as praying that the rest of his disciples 
might be kept ' out of the evil one ; ' and many similar ex- 
pressions disclose the fact that, towards the close of the 
second century, and throughout the third, the chief obstacle 
of those who were just beginning to be called ' Christians 
was the temptation offered by Rome to the christians 
themselves to betray their sect It was still a danger to 

^ I John iv. 2, 3. • Polycarp, Ep. to Philippians, vil ■ 3 Thesj. iL 
* 2 Peter u. 15. » John xvii. 12. 

244 NERO, 

name the very imperial gods who successively set them- 
selves up to be worshipped at Rome, but the pointing of 
the phrases is unmistakable long before the last of the 
pagan emperors held the stirrup for the first christian 
Pontiff to mount his horse. 

Nero had answered to the portrait of 'the son of perdi- 
tion sitting in the temple of God ' perfectly. He aspired 
to the title 'King of the Jews.' He solemnly assumed 
the name of Jupiter. He had his temples and his priests, 
and shared divine honours with his mistress Poppaea, Yet, 
when Nero and his gloVy had perished under those phials 
of wrath described in the Apocalypse, a more exact image 
of the insidious * False Christ ' appeared in Vespasian. 
His alleged miracles ('lying wonders*), and the reported 
prediction of his greatness by a prophet on Mount Carmel, 
his oppression of the Jews, who had to contribute the 
annual double drachma to support the temples and gods 
which Vespasian had restored, altogether made this deco- 
rous and popular emperor a more formidable enemy than 
the * Beast * Nero whom he succeeded. The virtues and 
philosophy of Marcus Aurelius still increased the danger. 
Political conditions favoured all those who were inclined 
to compromise, and to mingle the popular pagan and the 
Jewish festivals, symbols, and ceremonies. In apocalyptic 
metaphor, Vespasian and Aurelius are the two horns of 
the Lamb who spake like the Dragon, »>., Nero (Rev. 
xiii. ii). 

The beginnings of that mongrel of superstitions which 
at last gained the name of Christianity were in the libera- 
tion, by decay of parts and particles, of all those systems 
which Julius Caesar had caged together for mutual destruc- 
tion. * With new thrones rise new altars/ says Byron's Sar- 
danapalus ; but it is still more true that, with new thrones 
all altars crumble a little. At an early period the differ- 


ences between the believers in Christ and those they called 
idolaters were mainly in name; and, with the increase of 
Gentile converts, the adoption of the symbolism and 
practices of the old religions was so universal that the 
quarrel was about originality. * The Devil/ says Tertul- 
lian, ' whose business it is to pervert the truth, mimics the 
exact circumstances of the Divine Sacraments in the mys- 
teries of idols. He himself baptizes some, that is to say, 
his believers and followers : he promises forgiveness of sins 
from the sacred faunt^ and thus initiates them into the 
religion of Mithras ; he thus marks on the forehead his 
own soldiers: he then celebrates the oblation of bread; he 
brings in the symbol of resurrection, and wins the crown 
with the sword.' * 

What masses of fantastic nonsense it was possible to 
cram into one brain was shown in the time of Nero, the 
brain being that of Simon the Magician. Simon was, after 
all, a representative man ; he reappears in christian Gnos- 
ticism, and Peter, who denounced him, reappears also in 
the phrenzy of Montanism. Take the followers of this 
Sorcerer worshipping his image in the likeness of Jupiter, 
the Moon, and Minerva ; and Montanus with his wild 

^ 'But/ says Professor King (Gnostics, p. 52), 'a dispassionate examiner 
will discover that these two zealous Fathers somewhat beg the question in 
assuming that the Mithraic rites were invented as counterfeits of the Chris- 
tian Sacraments ; the former having really been in existence long before the 
promulgation of Christianity.' Whatever may have been the incidents in the 
life of Christ connected with such things, it is certainly true, as Professor King 
says, that these ' were afterwards invested with the mystic and supernatural 
virtues, in a later age insisted upon as articles of faith, by succeeding and un- 
scrupulous missionaries, eager to outbid the attractions of more ancient cere- 
monies of a cognate character/ In the porch of the Church Bocca della Veriia 
at Rome, there is, or was, a fresco of Ceres shelling corn and Bacchus pressing 
grapes, from them falling the elements of the Eucharist to a table below. This 
was described to me by a friend, but when I went to see it in 1S72, it had 
just been whitewashed over 1 I called the attention of Signor Rosa to this 
shameful proceeding, and he had then some hope that this very interesting 
relic might be recovered. 


women Priscilla and Maximilla going about claiming to 
be inspired by the Holy Ghost to re-establish Syrian 
orthodoxy and asceticism ; and we have fair specimens ot 
the parties that glared at each other, and apostrophised 
each other as children of Belial. They competed with 
each other by pretended miracles. They both claimed the 
name of Christ, and all the approved symbols and sacra- 
ments. The triumph of, one party turned the other into 

Thus in process of time, as one hydra-head fell only 
to be followed by another, there was defined a Spirit 
common to and working through them all — a new devil, 
whose special office was hostility to Christ, and whose 
operations were through those who claimed to be chris- 
tians as well as through open enemies. 

As usual, when the phrases, born of real struggles, had 
lost their meaning, they were handed up to the theo- 
logians to be made into perpetual dogmas. Out of an 
immeasurable mass of theories and speculations, we may 
regard the following passage from Jerome as showing 
what had become the prevailing belief at the beginning o£ 
the fifth century. ' Let us say that which all ecclesiastical 
writers have handed down, viz., that at the end of the 
world, when the Roman Empire is to be destroyed, there 
will be ten kings, who will divide the Roman world 
among them ; and there will arise an eleventh little king 
who will subdue three of the ten kings, that is, the king ot 
Egypt, of Africa, and of Ethiopia; and on these having 
been slain, the seven other kings will submit' * And 
behold,' he says, *in the ram were the eyes of a man' — 
this is that we may not suppose him to be a devil or a 
daemon, as some have thought, but a man in whom Satan 
will dwell utterly and bodily — 'and a mouth speaking 
great things ;' for he is the 'man of sin, the son of per- 


dition, who sitteth in the temple of God making himself 
as God/^ 

The ' Little Horn ' of Daniel has proved a cornucopia 

of Antichrists. Not only the christians but the Jews and 

the mussulmans have definite beliefs on the subject The 

rabbinical name for Antichrist is Armillus, a word found 

in the Targum (Isa. xi. 4) : * By the word of his mouth 

the wicked Armillus shall die.' There will be twelve signs 

of the Messiah's coming — appearance of three apostate 

kings, terrible heat of the sun, dew of blood, healing dew, 

the sun darkened for thirty days, universal power of Rome 

with affliction for Jews, and the appearance of the first 

Messias (Joseph's tribe), Nehemiah. The next and seventh 

sign will be the appearance of Armillus, born of a marble 

statue in a church at Rome. The Romans will accept 

him as their god, and the whole world be subject to him. 

Nehemiah alone will refuse to worship him, and for this 

will be slain, and the Jews suffer terrible things. The 

eighth sign will be the appearance of the angel Michael 

with three blasts of his trumpet — which shall call forth 

Elias, the forerunner, and the true Messias (Ben David), 

and bring on the war with Armillus who shall perish, and 

all christians with him. The ten tribes shall be gathered 

into Paradise. Messias shall wed the fairest daughter of 

their race, and when he dies his sons shall succeed him, 

and reign in unbroken line over a beatified Israel. 

The mussulman modification of the notion of Anti- 
christ is very remarkable. They call him ^/ Dajjail, that 
is, the impostor. They say that Mohammed told his 
follower Tamisri Al-Dari, that at the end of the world 
Antichrist would enter Jerusalem seated on an ass ; but 
that Jesus will then make his second coming to encounter 
him. The Beast of the Apocalypse will aid Antichrist, 

* Op. iv. 511. Col. Agrip. 1616. 

248 AL DA/JAIL. 

but Jesus will be joined by Imam Mahadi, who has never 
died ; together they will subdue Antichrist, and thereafter 
the mussulmans and christians will for ever be united in 
one religion. The Jews, however, will regard Antichrist 
as their expected Messias. Antichrist will be blind of one 
eye, and deaf of one ear. * Unbeliever' will be written on 
his forehead. In that day the sun will rise in the west^ 

The christians poorly requited this amicable theory of 
the mussulmans by very extensively identifying Moham- 
med as Antichrist, at one period. From that period came 
the English word mawmet (idol), and mummery (idolatry), 
both of which, probably, are derived from the name of the 
Arabian Prophet Daniel's * Little Horn' betokens, accord- 
ing to Martin Luther, Mohammed. 'But what are the Little 
Horn's Eyes ? The Little Horn's Eyes,' says he, * mean 
Mohammed's Alkoran, or Law, wherewith he ruleth. In 
the which Law there is nought but sheer human reason 
( eitel menschliche Vernunft ).*...' For his Law,' he 
reiterates, 'teaches nothing but that which human un- 
derstanding and reason may well like.' . . . Wherefore 
'Christ will come upon him with fire and brimstone.' 
When he wrote this — ^in his ' army sermon ' against the 
Turks — ^in 1529, he had never seen a Koran. 'Brother 
Richard's' (Predigerordens) Confutatio Alcoran, dated 
1300, formed the exclusive basis of his argument But in 
Lent of 1 540, he relates, a Latin translation, though a very 
unsatisfactory one, fell into his hands, and once more he 
returned to Brother Richard, and did his Refutation into 
German, supplementing his version with brief but racy 
notes. This Brother Richard had, according to his own 

' For foU detaib of all thew saperstittons see Eisenmeiiger (Entd. Jod. !L 
Arwtilimy, D'Herbelot (Bib. Orient. Daggid); Baxtorf (Lexicon, ArmtVms); 
Calmety Antuhrisi ; and on the same word, Smith ; also a Taluable article in 
M'Ciintock and Strong's Cjc Bib. Lit (American). 


account, gone in quest of knowledge to 'Babylon, that 
beautiful city of the Saracens/ and at Babylon he had 
learnt Arabic and been inured in the evil ways of the 
Saracens. When he had safely returned to his native 
land he set about combating the same. And this is his 
exordium : — ^* At the time of the Emperor Heraclius there 
arose a man, yea, a Devil, and a first-born child of Satan, 
. . . who Avallowed in . • . and he was dealing in the 
Black Art, and his name it was Machumet' • . . This 
work Luther made known to his countrymen by translat- 
ing and commenting, prefacing, and rounding it off by an 
epilogue. True, his notes amount to little more but an 
occasional 'Oh fie, for shame, you horrid Devil, you 
damned Mahomet,' or ' O Satan, Satan, you shall pay for 
that,' or, -That's it. Devils, Saracens, Turks, it's all the 
same,' or, ' Here the Devil smells a rat,' or briefly, ' O Pfui 
Dich, Teufell' except when he modestly, with a query, 
suggests whether those Assassins, who, according to his 
text, are regularly educated to go out into the world in 
order to kill and slay all Worldly Powers, may not, per- 
chance, be the Gypsies or the 'Tattern* (Tartars); or 
when he breaks down with a ' Hie nescio quid dicat trans- 
lator.' His epilogue, however, is devoted to a special 
disquisition as to whether Mohammed or the Pope be 
worse. And in the twenty-second chapter of this dis- 
quisition he has arrived at the final conclusion that, after 
all, the Pope is worse, and that he, and not Mohammed, is 
the real * Endechrist.' * Wohlen^ he winds up, * God grant 
us his grace, and punish both the Pope and Mohammed, 
together with their devils. I have done my part as a true 
prophet and teacher. Those who won't listen may leave 
it alone.' In similar strains speaks the learned and gentle 
Melancthon. In an introductory epistle to a reprint of 
^hat same Latin Koran which displeased Luther so much, 

250 MA WMET. 

he finds fault with Mohammed, or rather, to use his own 
words, he thinks that ' Mohammed is inspired by Satan/ 
because he 'does not explain what sin is/ and further, 
since he 'showeth not the reason of human misery/ He 
agrees with Luther about the Little Horn: though in 
another treatise he is rather inclined to see in Mohammed 
both Gog and Magog. And ' Mohammed's sect/ he says, 
^ *is altogether made up {confiatd) of blasphemy, robber>% 
and shameful lusts/ Nor does it matter in the least what 
the Koran is all about. * Even if there were anything less 
scurrilous in the book, it need not concern us any more 
than the portents of the Egyptians, who invoked snakes 
and cats. . . . Were it not that partly this Mohammedan 
pest, and partly the Pope's idolatry, have long been lead- 
ing us straight to wreck and ruin — may God have mercy 
upon some of us I ' ^ 

' Mawmet ' was used by Wicliffe for idol in his trans- 
lation of the New Testament, Acts vii. 41, 'And they 
made a calf in those days and offered a sacrifice to the 
Mawmet ' (idol). The word, though otherwise derived by 
some, is probably a corruption of Mohammed. In the 
* Mappa Mundi ' of the thirteenth century we find the repre- 
sentation of the golden calf in the promontory of Sinai, 
with the superscription 'Mahum* for Mohammed, whose 
name under various corruptions, such as Mahound, Maw- 
met, &c., became a general byword in the mediaeval 
languages for an idol. In a missionary hymn of Wesley's 
Mohammed is apostrophised as— 

That Ai'ab thief, as Satan bold, 
Who quite destroyed Thy Asian fold ; 

and the Almighty is adjured to — 

The Unitarian fiend expel. 

And chase his doctrine back to Hell. 

^ Deutsch, 'Lit. Remains.' Islam* 

GOnS APE. 251 

In these days, when the very mention of the Devil raises 
a smile, we can hardly realise the solemnity with which 
his work was once viewed. When Goethe represents 
Mephistopheles as undertaking to teach Faust's class in 
theology and dwells on his orthodoxy, it is the refrain ot 
the faith of many generations. The Devil was not * God's 
Ape,' as Tertullian called him, in any comical way ; not 
only was his ceremonial believed to be modelled on 
that of God, but his inspiration of his. followers was be- 
lieved to be quite as potent and earnest. Tertullian was 
constrained to write in this strain — * Blush, my Roman 
fellow-soldiers, even if ye are not to be judged by Christ, 
but by any soldier of Mithras, who when he is undergoing 
initiation in the cave, the very camp of the Powers ot 
Darkness, when the wreath is offered him (a sword being 
placed between as if in semblance of martyrdom), and 
then about to be set on his head, he is warned to put 
forth his hand and push the wreath away, transferring it 
to, perchance, his shoulder, saying at the same time, My 
only crown is Mithras. And thenceforth he never wears 
a wreath ; and this is a mark he has for a test, whenever 
tried as to his initiation, for he is immediately proved to 
be a soldier of Mithras if he throws down the wreath 
offered him, saying his crown is in his god. Let us there- 
fore acknowledge the craft of the Devil, who mimics 
certain things of those that be divine, in order that he 
may confound and judge us by the faith of his own 

This was written before the exaltation of Christianity 
under Constantine. When the age of the martyrdom of 
the so-called pagans came on, these formulae became real, 
and the christians were still more confounded by finding 
that the worshippers of the Devil, as they thought them, 
could yield up their lives in many parts of Europe as 


bravely for their faith as any christian had ever done. 
The ' Prince of this world ' became thus an unmeanii^ 
phrase except for the heretics. Christ had become the 
Prince of this world ; and he was opposed by religious 
devotees as earnest as any who had suffered under Nero. 
The relation of the Opposition to the Devil was yet more 
closely defined when it claimed the christian name for its 
schism or heresy, and when it carried its loyalty to the 
Adversary of the Church to the extent of suffering martyr- 
dom. * Tell me, holy father/ said Evervinus to St, Ber- 
nard, concerning the Albigenses, *how is this? They 
entered to the stake and bore the torment of the fire not 
only with patience, but with joy and gladness. I wish 
your explanation, how these members of the Devil could 
persist in their heresy with a courage and constancy 
scarcely to be found in the most religious of the faith 
of Christ?' 

Under these circumstances the personification of Anti- 
christ had a natural but still wonderful development. He 
was to be bom of a virgin, in Babylon, to be educated at 
Bethsaida and Chorazin, and to make a triumphal entxy 
into Jerusalem, proclaiming himself the Son of God. In 
the interview at Messina (1202) between Richard I. and 
the Abbot Joachim of Floris, the king said, * I thought that 
Antichrist would be born at Antioch or in Babylon, and of 
the tribe of Dan, and would reign in the temple of the Lord 
in Jerusalem, and would walk in that land in which Christ 
walked, and would reign in it for three years and a half, 
and would dispute against Elijah and Enoch, and would 
kill them, and would afterwards die ; and that after his 
death God would give sixty days of repentance, in which 
those might repent which should have erred from the way 
of truth, and have been seduced by the preaching of Anti- 
christ and his false prophets/ 


This belief was reflected in Western Europe in the 
belief that the congregation of Witches assembled on 
their Sabbath (an institution then included among pagan- 
isms) to celebrate grand mass to the Devil, and that all 
the primitive temples were raised in honour of Satan. In 
the Russian Church the correspondence between the good 
and evil powers, following their primitive faith in the 
conflict between Byelbc^ and Tchornibog (white god and 
black god), went to the curious extent of picturing in 
hell a sort of infernal Trinity, The Father throned in 
Heaven with the Son between his knees and the Dove 
beside or beneath him, was replied to by a majestic Satan 
in hell, holding his Son 
(Judas) on his knees, and 
the Serpent acting as coun- 
teragent of the Dove. This 
singular arrangement may 
still be seen in many of the 
pictures which cover the 
walls of the oldest Russian 
churches (Fig. 9). The 
infernal god is not without 
a solemn majesty answering 
to that of his great anta- 
gonist above. The Serpent 
of Sins proceeds from the 
diabolical Father and Son, 
passing from beneath their y.^_ ^_p«k3«,™ of th. s.«n.T w 
throne through one of the ^"^■ 

two mouths of Hell, and then winds upward, hungrily 
opening its jaws near the terrible Balances where 
souls are weighed (Fig. 10). Along its hideous length 
are seated at regular intervals nine winged devils, 
representing probably antagonists of the nine Sephi- 


roth or JEjom of the Gnostic theology. Each is armed 
with a hook whereby the souls weighed and found 
wanting may be draped. 
The sins which these devils 
represent are labelled, gene- 
rally on rings around the ser- 
pent, and increase in heinous- 
ness towards the head. It is 
a curious fact that the Sin 
nearest the head is marked 
' Unmercifulness.' Strange 
and unconscious sarcasm on 
an Omnipotent Deity under 
wliose sway exists this elabo- 
boration of a scheme of sins 
and tortures precisely corre- 
FiE uh-AHciiHT RusiiAH Wall- sponding to the scheme of 

Paihtinc. virtues and joys 1 

Truly said the Epistle of John, there be many Anti- 
christs, If this was true before the word Christianity had 
been formed, or the system it names, what was the case 
afterwards ? For centuries we find vast systems denounc- 
ing each other as Antichrist. And ultimately, as a subtle 
hardly-conscious heresy spread abroad, the great excom- 
municator of antichrists itself, Rome, acquired that title, 
which it has never shaken off since. The See of Rome 
did not first receive that appellation from Protestants, but 
from its own chiefs. Gregory himself (a.C S90) started 
the idea by declaring that any man who held even the 
shadow of such power as the Popes arrogated to them- 
selves after his time would be the forerunner of Antichrist 
Arnulphus, Bishop of Orleans, in an invective against 
John XV. at Rheims (a.C. 991), intimated that a Pope 
destitute of charity was Antichrist. But the stigma was 


at length fixed (twelfth century) by Amalrich of Bena 
(' Quia Papa esset Antichristus et Roma Babylon et ipse 
sedit in Monte Oliveti, i.e., in pinguedine potestatis') ; 
andalsoby the Abbot Joachim (a. c. 1202). Thetheoryof 
Richard I., as stated to Joachim concerning Antichrist, has 
already been quoted. It was in the presence of the Arch- 
bishops of Rouen and Auxerre, and the Bishop of Bay- 
onne, and represented their opinion and the common belief 
of the time. But Joachim said the Second Apocalyptic 
Eeast represented some great prelate who will be like 
Simon M^us, and, as it were, universal Pontiff, and that 
very Antichrist of whom St 
Paul speaks. Hildebrand 
was the first Pope to whom 
this ugly label was affixed, ■ 
but the career of Alexander 
VI. (Roderic Borgia) made 
it for ever irremovable for 
the Protestant mind. There 
is in the British Museum a 
volume of caricatures, dated 
1545, in which occurs an 
ingenious representation of 
Alexander VI. The Pope 
is first seen in his ceremonial 
robes; butaleaf being raised, 
another figure is joined to 
the lower part of the former, 
and there appears the papal 
devil, the cross in his hand 
being changed to a pitchfork (Fig. 1 1). Attached to it 
is an explanation in German giving the legend of the 
Pope's death. He was poisoned (1503) by the cup he had 
prepared for another man. It was afterwards said that he 


had secured the papacy by aid of the Devil. Having asked 
how long he would rctgn, the Devil returned an equivocal 
answer ; and though Alexander understood that it was to 
be fifteen years, it proved to be only eleven. When in 
1520 Pope Leo X. issued his formal bull against Luther, 
the reformer termed it 'the execrable bull of Antichrist.' 
An Italian poem of the time having represented Luther 
as the offspring of Megzra, 
the Germans returned the 
invective in a form mor* 
likely to impress the popular 
mind ; namely, in a caricature 
(Fig. 12), representing the 
said Fury as nursing the 
Pope. This caricature is also 
? of date IS4S> *"d with it were 
others showing Alecto and 
Tistphone acting in other ca- 
pacities for the papal babe. 
The Lutherans had made the discovery that the 
number of the Apocalyptic Beast, 666, put into Hebrew 
numeral letters, contained the words Aberin Kadescka 
Papa (our holy father the Pope), The downfall of this 
Antichrist was a favourite theme of pulpit eloquence, and 
also with artists. A very spirited pamphlet was printed 
(rS2i), and illustrated ivith designs by Luther's friend 
Lucas Cranach. It was entitled Passional Christi und 
Antichristi. The fall of the papal Antichrist (Fig. 13), has 
for its companion one of Christ washing the feet of his 

But the Catholics could also make discoveries; and 
among many other things they found that the word 
'Luther' in Hebrew numerals also made the number of 
the Beast It was remembered that one of the earliest 


predictions concerning Antichrist was that he would 
travesty the birth of Christ from a virgin by being bom 
of a nun by a Bishop. Luther's marriage with the nun 
Catharine von Bora came sufficiently near the prediction 
to be welcomed by his enemies. The source of his in- 
spiration as understood by Catholics is cleverly indicated 
in a caricature of the period (Fig. 14). 

Fi(. 13.— Amtichkist'b Ducbnt (L. Cnnub). 

The theory that the Papacy represents Antichrist has 
so long been the solemn belief of rebels against its autho- 
rity, that it has become a vulgarised article of Protestant 
faith. On the other hand, Catholics appear to take a 
political and prospective view of Antichrist. Cardinal 
Manning, in his pastoral following the election of Leo 
XIIL, said: 'A tide of revolution has swept over all 
countries. Every people in Europe is inwardly divided 



against itself, and the old society of Christendom, with its 
laws, its sanctities, and its stability, is giving way before 
the popular will, which has no law, or rather which claims 
to be a law to itself. This is at least the forerunning sign 
of the Lawless One^ who in his own time shall be revealed/ 

Fig. 14.— LuTHKifs Dbtil as sbbm by Catmoucs. 

Throughout the endless exchange of epithets, it has 
been made clear that Antichrist is the reductio ad absur- 
dunt of the notion of a personal DeviL From the day 
when the word was first coined, it has assumed every 
variety of shape, has fitted with equal precision the most 
contrarious things and persons ; and the need of such a 
novel form at one point or another in the progress of 
controversy is a satire on the inadequacy of Satan and 
his ancient ministers. Bygone Devils cannot represent 
new animosities. The ascent of every ecclesiastical or 
theological system is traceable in massacres and martyr- 


doms; each of these, whether on one side or the other, 
helps to develop a new devil. The story of Antichrist 
shows devils in the making. Meantime, to eyes that see 
how every system so built up must sacrifice a virtue at 
every stage of its ascent, it will be sufficiently clear that 
every powerful Church is Adversary of the religion it 
claims to represent. Buddhism is Antibuddha ; Islam is 
Antimohammed ; Christianity is Antichrist. 



The curse of Iblis— SamaCl as Democrat— His vindication by Christ 
and Paul — Asmodaus — History of the name — Aschmedai of the 
Jews — Book of Tobit — Dorfs 'Triumph of Christianity' — 
Aucassin and Nicolette — Asmodeus in the convent — The 
Asmodeus of Le Sage — Mephistopheles — Blake's ' Marriage of 
Heaven and Hell '—The Devil and the artists— Sddi's Vision of 
Satan — Arts of the Devil — Suspicion of beauty — Earthly and 
heaveuly mansions— Deacon versus DeviL 

Ok the parapet of the external gallery of Ndtre Dame in 
Paris is the carved form, of human size, represented in our 
figure (is). There is in the 
face a remarkable expres- 
sion of pride and satisfac- 
tion as he looks forth on the 
gay city and contemplates 
all the wickedness in it, 
but this satisfaction is 
curiously blended with a 
look of envy and lust. 
His elegant head • dress 
; gives him the pomp be- 
' coming the Asmodeas 
presiding over the most 
brilliant capital in the 
r«..5.-TH.P.,„o,L,,^ world. 

His seat on the fine parapet is in contrast 


place assigned him in Eastern traditions — ruins and 
desert places, — ^but otherwise he fairly fulfilled, no doubt, 
early ideas in selecting his headquarters at Paris. A 
mussulman legend says that when, after the Fall of Man, 
Allah was mitigating the sentences he had pronounced, 
Iblis (whd, as the Koran relates, pleaded and obtained 
the deferment of his consignment to Hell until the resur- 
rection, and unlimited power over sinners who do not 
accept the word of Allah) asked — 

* Where shall I dwell in the meantime ? 

' In ruins, tombs, and all other unclean places shunned 
by man. 

* What shall be my food ? 

' All things slain in the name of idols. 

* How shall I quench my thirst ? 

* With wine and intoxicating liquors. 

* What shall occupy my leisure hours ? 

* Music, song, love-poetry, and dancing. 

* What is my watchword ? 

'The curse of Allah until the day of judgment. 

' But how shall I contend with man, to whom thou hast 
granted two guardian angels, and who has received thy 
revelation ? 

*Thy progeny shall be more numerous than his, — for 
for every man that is born, there shall come into the world 
seven evil spirits — but they shall be powerless against the 

Iblis with wine, song, and dance — the ' pride of life ' — is 
also said to have been aided in entering Paradise by the 
peacock, which he flattered.^ 

This fable, though later than the era of Mohammed 
in form, is as ancient as the myth of Eden in substance. 
The germ of it is already in the belief that Jehovah 

1 Weil's ' Biblical Legends.' 



The curse of Iblis— Samaei as Democrat — His vindication by Giriit 
and Paul — Asmodaus — History of the name — Aschmedai of the 
Jews — Book of Tobit — Dora's 'Triumph of Christianity' — 
Aucassin and Nicolelte — Asmodeus in the convent — The 
Asmodeus of Le Sage — Mephistopheles — Blake's ' Marriage of 
Heaven and Hell '—The Devil and the artists— SSdi's Vision of 
Satan — Arts of the Devil — Suspicion of beauty — Earthly and 
heavenly mansions — Deacon versus DeviL 

On the parapet of the external gallery of N6tre Dame in 
Paris is the carved form, of human size, represented in our 
figure (i s). There is in the 
face a remarkable expres- 
sion of pride and satisfac- 
tion as he looks forth on the 
gay city and contemplates 
all the wickedness in it, 
but this satisfaction is 
curiously blended with a 
look of envy and lust. 
His elegant head • dress 
' gives him the pomp be- 
'' coming the Asmodeus 
presiding over the most 
brilliant capital in the 

His seat on the fine parapet is in contrast with the 



place assigned him in Eastern traditions — ruins and 
desert places, — ^but otherwise he fairly fulfilled, no doubt, 
early ideas in selecting his headquarters at Paris. A 
mussulman legend says that when, after the Fall of Man, 
Allah was mitigating the sentences he had pronounced, 
Iblis (wh6, as the Koran relates, pleaded and obtained 
the deferment of his consignment to Hell until the resur- 
rection, and unlimited power over sinners who do not 
accept the word of Allah) asked — 

* Where shall I dwell in the meantime ? 

' In ruins, tombs, and all other unclean places shunned 
by man. 

* What shall be my food ? 

* All things slain in the name of idols. 

* How shall I quench my thirst ? 

' With wine and intoxicating liquors. 

* What shall occupy my leisure hours ? 

* Music, song, love-poetry, and dancing. 

* What is my watchword ? 

'The curse of Allah until the day of judgment. 

' But how shall I contend with man, to whom thou hast 
granted two guardian angels, and who has received thy 
revelation ? 

*Thy progeny shall be more numerous than his, — for 
for every man that is born, there shall come into the world 
seven evil spirits— but they shall be powerless against the 

Iblis with wine, song, and dance — the ' pride of life ' — is 
also said to have been aided in entering Paradise by the 
peacock, which he flattered.^ 

This fable, though later than the era of Mohammed 
in form, is as ancient as the myth of Eden in substance. 
The germ of it is already in the belief that Jehovah 

1 Weirs ' Biblical Legends.* 


faithful 'in both worlds from Death the Violent, from 
A^shma the Violent, from the hosts of Violence that raise 
aloft the terrible banner — from the assaults of A^shma 
that he makes along with VfdAtu (* Divider, Destroyer '), 
the demon-created/ He is thus the leading representative 
of dissolution, the fatal power of Ahriman. Ormuzd is 
said to have created ^raosha to be the destroyer of 
*A6shma of the fatal lance.' ^raosha ('the Hearer') 
is the moral vanquisher of A6shma, in distinction 
from Haoma, who is his chief opponent in the physical 

Such, following Windischmann,^ is the origin of the 
devil whom the apocryphal book of Tobit has made 
familiar in Europe as Asmodeus. Aschmedai, as the Jews 
called him, appears in this story as precisely that spirit 
described in the Avesta — the devil of Violence and Lust, 
whose passion for Sara leads him to slay her seven hus- 
bands on their wedding-night. The devils of Lust are 
considered elsewhere, and Asmodeus among them ; there 
is another aspect of him which here concerns us. He is 
a fastidious devil. He will not have the object of his 
passion liable to the embrace of any other. He cannot 
endure bad smells, and that raised by the smoke of the 
fish-entrails burnt by Tobit drives him ' into the utmost 
parts of Egypt, where the angel bound him,' It is, how- 
ever, of more importance to read the story by the light of 
the general reputation of Aschmedai among the Jews and 
Arabians. It was notably that of the devil represented in 
the Moslem tradition at the beginning of this chapter. He 
is the Eastern Don Giovanni and Lothario; he plies Noah 
and Solomon with wine, and seduces their wives, and 

^ ' Zoroastrische Studien,* pp. 138-147. With which comp. Spiegel, TransL 
of Avesta, III. xlvii. 


always aims high with his dashing intrigues. He would 
have cried Amen to Luther's line2 

Who loves not wine, woman, and song, 
He lives a fool his whole life long. 

Besides being an aristocrat, he is a scholar, the' most 
learned Master of Arts, educated in the great College of 
Hell, founded by Asa and Asael, as elsewhere related. He 
was fond of gaming; and so fashionable that Calmet 
believed his very name signifies fine dress. 

Now, the moral reflections in the Book of Tobit, and its 
casual intimations concerning the position of the pexsons 
concerned, show that they were Jewish captives of the 
humblest working class, whose religion is of a type now 
found chiefly among the more ignorant sectarians. Tobit's 
moral instructions to his son, 'In pride is destruction and 
much trouble, and in lewdness is decay and much want, 
' Drink not wine to make thee drunken,* and his careful 
instructions about finding wealth in the fear of God, are 
precisely such as would shape a devil in the image of 
Asmodeus. Tobit's moral truisms are made falsities by 
his Puritanism : * Prayer is good with fasting and alms and 
righteousness ;' ' but give nothing to the wicked ;' ' If thou 
serve God he will repay thee.* 

' Cakes and ale ' do not cease to exist because Tobits 
are virtuous ; but unfortunately they may be raised from 
their subordinate to an insubordinate place by the transfer 
of religious restraints to the hands of Ignorance and Cant. 
Asmodeus, defined against Persian and Jewish asceticism 
and hypocrisy, had his attractions for men of the world. 
Through him the devil became perilously associated with 
wit, gallantry, and the one creed of youth which is not at 
all consumptive — 

Grey is all Theory, 

Green Life's golden-fruited tree ! 


Especially did Asmodeus represent the subordination 
of so-called 'religious' and tribal distinctions to secular 
considerations. As Samael had petitioned for an exten- 
sion of the Abrahamic Covenant to all the world and failed 
to secure it from Jehovah, Asmodeus proposed to disre- 
gard the distinction. There is much in the Book of Tobit 
which looks as if it were written especially with the inten- 
tion of persuading Jewish youth, tempted by Babylonians 
to marriage, that their lovers might prove to be succubi 
or incubi. Tobit implores his son to marry in his own 
tribe, and not take a 'strange woman/ Asmodeus was as 
cosmopolitan as the god of Love himself, and many of his 
uglier early characteristics were hidden out of sight by 
such later developments. 

Gustave T>ot6 has painted in his vivid way the * Triumph 
of Christianity/ In it we see the angelic hosts with drawn 
swords overthrowing the forms adored of paganism — ^hurl- 
ing them headlong into an abyss. So far as the battle 
and victory go, this is just the conception which an early 
christian would have had of what took place through the 
advent of Christ It filled their souls with joy to behold 
by Faith's vision those draped angels casting down un- 
draped goddesses ; they would delight to imagine how the 
fall might break the bones of those beautiful limbs. For 
they never thought of these gods and goddesses as statues, 
but as real seductive devils ; and when these christians 
had brought over the arts, they often pictured the black 
souls coming out of these fair idols as they fell. 

Dor6 may have tried to make the angels as beautiful as 
the goddesses, but he has not succeeded. In this he has 
interpreted the heart behind every deformity which was 
ever added to a pagan deity. The horror of the monks 
was transparent homage. Why did they starve and 
scourge their bodies, and roll them in thorns } Because 


not even by defacing the beautiful images were they able 
to expel from their inward worship the lovely ideals they 

It is not difficult now to perceive that the old monks 
were consigning the pagan ideals to imaginary and them- 
selves to actual hells, in full hope of thereby gaining per- 
manent possession of the same beauty abjured on earth. 
The loveliness of the world was transient. They grew 
morbid about death; beneath the rosiest form they saw 
the skeleton. The heavenly angels they longed for were 
Venuses and ApoUos, with no skeletons visible beneath 
their immortalised flesh. They never made sacrifices for a 
disembodied heaven. The force of self-crucifixion lay in 
the creed — *• I believe in the resurrection of the body, and 
the life everlasting.' 

The world could not generally be turned into a black 
procession at its own funeral. In proportion to the con- 
quests of Christianity must be its progressive surrender to 
the unconquerable — to human nature. Aphrodite and 
Eros, over whose deep graves nunneries and monasteries 
had been built, were the first to revive, and the story, as 
Mr. Pater has told it, is like some romantic version of 
Ishtar's Descent into Hades and her resurrection.^ While 
as yet the earth seemed frostbound, long before the Renais- 
sance, the song of the turtle was heard in the ballad of 
Aucassin and Nicolette. The christian knight will marry 
the beautiful Saracen, and to all priestly warnings that he 
will surely go to hell, replies, * What could I do in Para- 
dise ? I care only to go where I can be with Nicolette. 
Who go to Paradise ? Old priests, holy cripples, dried- 
up monks, who pass their lives before altars. I much 
prefer Hell, where go the brave, the gay, and beauti- 
ful There will be the players on harps, the classic 

^ ' Studies in ihe Hist of the Renaissance.' MacmilUuu 


poets and singers ; and there I shall not be parted from 

Along with pretty Saracen maidens, or memories of 
them, were brought back into Europe legends of Asmo- 
deus. Aphrodite and Eros might disguise themselves in 
his less known and less anathematised name, so that he 
could manage to sing of his love for Sara, of Parsi for 
Jewess, under the names of christian Aucassin and saracen 
Nicolette. In the Eastern Church he reappeared also. 
There are beautiful old pictures which show the smart 
cavalier, feather-in-cap, on the youth's left, while on his 
right stands ' grey Theory * in the form of a long-bearded 
friar. Such pictures, no doubt, taught for many a dif- 
ferent lesson from that intended— namely, that the beat 
of the heart is on the left 

Where St. Benedict rolled himself in thorns for dream- 
ing of his (deserted) ' Nicolette,' St Francis planted roses ; 
and the Latin Church had to recognise this evolution of 
seven centuries. They hid the thorns in the courts of 
convents, and sold the roses to the outside world as indul- 
gences. But as Asmodeus had not respected the line 
between Jew and Gentile in Nineveh, so he passed over 
that between priest, nun, and worldling in the West In 
the days of Witchcraft the Church was scandalised by the 
rumour that the nuns of the Franciscan Convent of Lou- 
viers had largely taken to sorcery, and were attending the 
terrible ' Witches' Sabbaths.' The nun most prominent 
in this affair was one Madeleine Bavent The priests 
announced that she had confessed that she was borne 
away to the orgies by the demon Asmodeus, and that he 
had induced her to profane the sacred host It turned 
out that the nuns had engaged in intrigues with the priests 
who had charge of them— especially with Fathers David, 
Picard, and Boul6— but Asmodeus was credited with the 


crime, and the nuns were punished for it. Madeleine was 
condemned to life-long penance, and Picard anticipated 
the fire by a suicide, in which he was said to have been 
assisted by the devil. 

Following the rabbinical tradition which represented 
him as continually passing from the high infernal College 
of Asa and Asael to the earth to apply his arts of sorcery, 
Asmodeus gained a respectable position in European 
literature through the romance of Le Sage (' Le Diable 
Boiteux'), and his fame so gained did much to bring 
about in France that friendly feeling for the Devil which 
has long been a characteristic of French literature. A 
very large number of books, periodicals, and journals in 
France have gained popularity through the Devil's name. 
Asmodeus was, in fact, the Arch-bohemian. As such, he 
largely influenced the conception of Mephistopheles as 
rendered by Goethe — himself the Prince of Bohemians. 
The old horror of Asmodeus for bad smells is insulted in 
the name Mephistopheles, and this devil is many rolled 
into one ; yet in many respects his kinship to Asmodeus 
is revealed. All the dried starveling Anthonys and Bene- 
dicts are, in a cultured way, present in the theologian and 
scholar Faust; all the sweet ladies that haunted their 
seclusion became realistic in Gretchen. She is the Nemesis 
of suppressed passions. 

One province of nature after another has been recovered 
from Asceticism. In this case Ishtar has had to regain 
her apparel and ornaments at successive portals that are 
centuries, and they are not all recovered yet. But we 
have gone far enough, even in puritanised England, to 
produce a 'madman' far-seeing enough to behold The 
Marriage of Heaven and Hell. The case of Asmodeus is 
stated well, albeit radically, by William Blake, in that 
proverb which was told him by the devils, whom he alone 



of midnight travellers was shrewd enough to consult : 
* The pride of the peacock is the glory of God ; the lust 
of the goat is the bounty of God ; the wrath of the lion 
is the wisdom of God.' When that statement is improved, 
as it well may be, it will be when those who represent 
religion shall have learned that human like other nature 
is commanded by obedience. 

In this connection may be mentioned a class of legends 
indicating the Devil's sensitiveness with regard to his 
personal appearance. The anxiety of the priests and 
hermits to have him represented as hideous was said to 
have been warmly resented by Satan, one of the most 

■ striking being the legend of many versions concerning a 
Sacristan, who was also an artist, who ornamented an 

J abbey with a devil so ugly that none could behold it 

I without terror. It was believed he had by inspiration 
secured an exact portrait of the archfiend. The Devil 
appeared to the Sacristan, reproached him with having 
made him so ugly, and threatened to punish him grie- 
vously if he did not make him better looking. Although 
this menace was thrice repeated, the Sacristan refused to 
comply. The Devil then tempted him into an intrigue 
with a lady of the neighbourhood, and they eloped after 
robbing the abbey of its treasure. But they were caught, 
and the Sacristan imprisoned. The Devil then appears 
and offers to get him out of his trouble if he will only 
destroy the ugly likeness, and make another and hand- 
somer. The Sacristan consented, and suddenly found 

\ himself in bed as if nothing had happened, while the 
'^JJevil in his image lay in chains. The Devil when dis- 
covered vanished ; the Sacristan got off on the theory that 
crimes and all had been satanic juggles. But the Sacris- 
tan took care to substitute a handsome devil for the ugly 



one. In another version the Sacristan remained faithful 
to his original portraiture of the Devil despite all menaces 
of the latter, who resolved to take a dire revenge. While 
the artist was completing his ornamentation of the abbey 
with an image of the Virgin, made as beautiful as the fiend 
near it was ugly, the Devil broke the ladder on which he 
was working, and a fatal fall was only prevented by the 
hand of the Madonna he had just made, which was 
outstretched to sustain him. The accompanying picture 
of this scene (Fig. 16) 
IS from 'Queen Mary's 
Psalter' in the British 

Vasari relates that 
whenSpinello of Arezzo, 
in his famous fresco of 
the fall of the rebellious 
angels, had painted the 
hideous devil with seven 
faces about his body, 
the fiend appeared to 
him in the same form, 
and asked the artist 
where he had seen him ^^ it-THEAmsT'sR.scinL 

in so frightful, an aspect, and why he had treated him so 
ignominiously. When Spinello awoke in horror, he fell 
into a state of gloom, and soon after died. 

The Persian poet Sddi has a remarkable passage con- 
ceived in the spirit of these legends, but more kindly. 

J saw the demon in a dream, 
But how unlike he seemed to be 

To all of horrible we dream. 
And all of fearful that we see. 


His shape was like a cypress b^ugh, 

His eyes like those that Houris wear. 
His face as beautiful as though 

The rays of Paradise were there. 
I near him came, and spoke — ^ Art thou/ 

I said, ' indeed the Evil One ? 
No angel has so bright a brow. 

Such yet no eye has looked upon. 
Why should mankind make thee a jest, 

When thou canst show a face like this ? 
Fair as the moon in splendour drest. 

An eye of joy, a smile of bliss ! 
The painter draws thee vile to sight, 

Our baths thy frightful form display ; 
They told me thou wert black as night, 

Behold, thou art as fair as day ! ' 
The lovely vision's ire awoke, 

His voice was loud and proud his mien : 
' Believe not, friend ! ' 'twas thus he spoke, 

' That thou my likeness yet hast seen : 
The pencil that my portrait made 

Was guided by an envious foe ; 
In Paradise I man betrayed. 

And he, from hatred, paints me so.' 

Boehme relates that when Satan was asked the cause 
of God's enmity to him and his consequent downfall, he 
replied, * I wished to be an artist* There is jn this quaint 
sentence a very true intimation of the allurements which, 
in ancient times, the arts of the Gentile possessed for the 
Jews and christian judaisers. Indeed, a similar feeling 
towards the sensuous attractions of the Catholic and 
Ritualistic Churches is not uncommon among the prosaic 
and puritanical sects whose younger members are often 
thus charmed away from them. Dr. Donne preached a 
sermon before Oliver Cromwell at Whitehall, in which he 
affirmed that the Muses were damned spirits of devils ; 
and the discussion on the Drama which occurred at 
Sheffield Church Congress (1878), following Dr. Bicker- 


stith's opening discourse on 'the Devil and his wiles/ shows 
that the Low Church wing cherishes much the same 
opinion as that of Dr. Donne. The dread of the theatre 
among some sects amounts to terror. The writer remem- 
bers the horror that spread through a large Wesleyan 
circle, with which he was connected, when a distinguished 
minister of that body, just returned from Europe, casually 
remarked that ' the theatre at Rome seemed to be poorly 
supported.' The fearful confession spread through the 
denomination, and it was understood that the observant 
traveller had ' made shipwreck of faith.* The Methodist 
instinct told true : the preacher became an accomplished 

Music made its way but slowly in the Church,. and the 
suspicion of it still lingers among many sects. The 
Quakers took up the burthen of Epiphanius who wrote 
against the flute-players, ' After the pattern of the serpent's 
form has the flute been invented for the deceiving of man- 
kind. Observe the figure that the player makes in blow- 
ing his flute. Does he not bend himself up and down 
to the right hand and to the left, like unto the serpent ? 
These forms hath the Devil used to manifest his blas- 
phemy against things heavenly, to destroy things upon 
earth, to encompass the world, capturing right and left 
such as lend an ear to his seductions.' The unregenerate 
birds that carol all day, be it Sabbath or Fast, have taught 
the composer that his best inspiration is from the Prince 
of the Air. Tartini wrote over a hundred sonatas and as 
many cencertos, but he rightly valued above them all his 
* Sonata del Piavolo.' Concerning this he wrote to the 
astronomer Lalande : — ^* One night, in the year 171 3, I 
dreamtsd that I had made a compact with his Satanic 
Majesty, by which he was received into my service. 
Everything succeeded to the utmost of my desires, and 



my every wish was anticipated by my new domestic I 
thought that, in taking up my violin to practise, I jocosely 
asked him if he could play on this instrument. He 
answered that he believed he was able to pick out a tune ; 
when, to my astonishment, he began a sonata, so strange, 
and yet so beautiful, and executed in so masterly a man- 
ner, that in the whole course of my life I had never heard 
anything so exquisite. So great was my amazement that 
I could scarcely breathe. Awakened by the violence of my 
feelings, I instantly seized my violin, in the hope of being 
able to catch some part of the ravishing melody which 
I had just heard, but all in vain. The piece which I 
composed according to my scattered recollections is, it is 
true, the best I ever produced. I have entitled it, ' Sonata 
del Diavolo ; ' but it is so far inferior to that which had 
made so forcible" an impression on me, that I should have 
dashed my violin into a thousand pieces, and given up 
music for ever in despair, had it been possible to deprive 
myself of the enjoyments which I receive from it.' 

The fire and originality of Tartini's great work is a fine 
example of that power which Timoleon called Autamaiia, 
and Goethe the Damonische, — 'that which cannot be 
explained by reason or understanding ; it is not in my 
nature, but I am subject to it' * It seems to play at will 
with all the elements of our being.' 

The Puritans brought upon England and America that 
relapse into the ancient asceticism which was shown in the 
burning of great pictures by Cromwell's Parliament. It is 
shown still in the jealousy with which the puritanised 
mind in both countries views all that aims at the simple 
decoration of life, and whose ministry is to the sense of 
beauty. On that day of the week when England and 
New England hebraise, as Matthew Arnold says, it is 
observable that the Sabbatarian fury is especially directed 


against everything which proposes to give simple pleasure 
or satisfy the popular craving for beauty. Sabbatarianism 
sees a great deal of hard work going on, but is not much 
troubled so long as it is ugly and dismal work. It utters 
no cry at the thousands of hands employed on Sunday 
railways, but is beside itself if one of the trains takes 
excursionists to the seaside, and is frantic at the thought 
of a comparatively few persons being employed on that day 
in Museums and Art Galleries. It is a survival of the old 
feeling that the Devil lurks about all beauty and plea- 

A money-making age has measurably dispersed the 
superstitions which once connected the Devil with all great 
fortunes. For a long time, and in many regions of the world, 
the Jews suffered grievously by being supposed to get their 
wealth by the Devil's help. Their wealth (largely the 
result of their not exchanging it for worldly enjoyments) so 
often proved their misfortune, that it was easy to illustrate 
by their case the monkish theory that devil's gifts turn to 
ashes. Princes were indefatigable in relieving the Jews of 
such ashes, however. The Lords of Triar, who possessed the 
mines of Glucksbrunn, were believed to have been guided 
to them by a gold stag which often appeared to them — of 
course the Devil. It is related that when St. Wolfram went 
to convert the Frislanders, their king, Radbot, was prevented 
from submitting to baptism by a diabolical deception. The 
Devil appeared to him as an angel clothed in a garment 
woven of gold, on his head a jewelled diadem, and said, 
* Bravest of men ! what has led thee to depart from the 
Prince of thy gods? Do it not; be steadfast to thy 
religion and thou shalt dwell in a house of gold which 
I will give into thy possession to all eternity. Go to 
Wolfram to-morrow, ask him about those bright dwellings 
he promises thee. If he cannot show them, let both parties 


choose an ambassador; I will be their leader and will 
show them the gold house I promise thee.' St Wolfram 
being unable to show Radbot the bright dwellings of 
Paradise, one of his deacons was sent along with a repre- 
sentative of the king, and the Devil (disguised as a traveller) 
took them to the house of gold, which was of incredible 
size and splendour. The Deacon exclaimed, ' If this house 
be made by God it will stand for ever ; if by the Devil, it 
must vanish speedily.' Whereupon he crossed himself; 
the house vanished, and the Deacon found himself with 
the Frislander in a swamp. It took them three days to 
extricate themselves and return to King Radbot, whom 
they found dead. 

The ascetic principle which branded the arts, interests, 
pursuits, and pleasures of the world as belonging to the 
domain of Satan, involved the fatal extreme of including 
among the outlawed realms all secular learning. The 
scholar and man of science were also declared to be in- 
spired by the • pride of life/ But this part of our subject 
requires a separate chapter. 

( 277 ) 



A Bishop on intellect — ^The Bible on learning— The Serpent and Seth 
— ^A Hebrew Renaissance — Spells — Shelley at Oxford — Book- 
burning — ^Japanese ink-devil — Book of Cyprianus — Devil's Bible 
— Red letters — Dread of Science — Roger Bacon — Luther's Devil 
— Lutherans and Science. 

In Lucas van Leyden's picture of Satan tempting 
Christ (Fig. 6), the fiend is represented in the garb of 
a University man of the time. From his head falls a 
streamer which coils on the ground to a serpent. From 
that serpent to the sceptical scholar demanding a miracle 
the evolution is fully traceable. The Serpent, of old the 
' seer/ was in its Semitic adaptation a tempter to forbidden 
knowledge. This was the earliest priestly outcry against 
* godless education.' 

During the Shakespere tercentenary festival at Stratford- 
on-Avon, the Bishop of St. Andrews declared that there 
is not a word in the Bible warranting homage to Intellect, 
and such a boast beside the grave of the most intellectual 
of Englishmen is in itself a survival illustrating the tre- 
mendous curse hurled by jealous Jehovah on man's first 
effort to obtain knowledge. That same Serpent of know- 
ledge has passed very far, and his curse has many times been 
repeated. In the Accadian poem of the fatal Seven, as 
we have seen, it is said, ' In watching was their office ;* and 
the Assyrian version says, * Unto heaven that which was 


not seen they raised.' On the Babylonian cyh'nders is 
inscribed the curse of the god of Intelligence (Hea) upon 
man — * Wisdom and knowledge hostilely may they injure 
him.*^ The same Serpent twined round the staff of 
iEsculapius and whispered those secrets which made the 
gods jealous, so that Jove killed the learned Physician 
with a flash of lightning. Its teeth were sown when 
Cadmus imported the alphabet into Greece ; and when 
these alphabetical dragon's-teeth had turned to type, the 
ancient curse was renewed in legends which connected 
Fust with the Devil. 

The Hebrews are least among races responsible for the 
legend which has drifted into Genesis. Nor was the 
Bishop's boast about their Bible correct. The homage 
paid to Solomon was hardly on account of his moral 
character. * He spake of trees, from the cedar-tree that 
is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of 
the wall; he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of 
creeping things, and of fishes,'* While the curse on man 
for eating the fruit of knowledge is never quoted in the 
Hebrew scriptures, there are many indications of their 
devotion to knowledge; and their prophets even heard 
Jehovah saying, * My people are destroyed through lack 
of knowledge.' It is not wonderful, therefore, that we find 
among the Jews the gradual growth of a legend concern- 
ing Seth, which may be regarded as a reply to the curse 
on the Serpent. 

The apotheosis of Seth in rabbinical and mussulman 
mythology represents a sort of Semitic Renaissance. As 
we have seen in a former chapter, the Egyptians and 

* * Chald. Genesis/ by George Smith, p. 84. 

' This text was engraved by Mrs. Rose Mary Crawshay on a tomb she had 
erected in honour of her humble neighbour, Mr. Norbury, who sought know- 
ledge for its own sake. Few ancient scriptures could have supplied an in- 
scription so appropriate. 


Greeks identified Set with Typhon, but at the same time 
that demon was associated with science. He is astrono- 
mically located in Capricorn, the sphere of the hierophants 
in the Egyptian Mysteries, and the mansion of the guar- 
dians of science. Thus he would correspond with the 
Serpent, who, as adapted by the Hebrews in the myth of 
Eden, whispers to Eve of divine knowledge. But, as 
detached from Typho, Seth, while leaving behind the 
malignancy, carried away the reputation for learning 
usually ascribed to devils. Thus, while we have had to 
record so many instances of degraded deities, we may 
note in Seth a converted devil. In the mussulman and 
rabbinical traditions Seth is a voluminous author; he 
receives a library from heaven ; he is the originator of 
astronomy and of many arts; and, as an instructor in 
cultivation, he restores many an acre which as Set he had 
blighted. In the apocryphal Genesis he is represented as 
having been caught up to heaven and shown the future 
destiny of mankind. Anastasius of Sinai says that when 
God created Adam after his own image, he breathed into 
him grace and illumination, and a ray of the Holy Spirit. 
But when he had sinned this glory left him. Then he 
became the father of Cain and Abel. But afterwards it is 
said Adam 'begat a son in his own likeness, after his 
image, and called his name ' Seth,' which is not said of 
Cain and Abel ; and this means that Seth was begotten 
in the likeness of unfallen man in paradise — Seth mean- 
ing * Resurrection.* And all those then living, when they 
saw how the face of Seth shone with divine light, and 
heard him speak with divine wisdom, said. He is God ; 
therefore his sons were commonly called the sons of God.^ 

^ Mr.'Bauring-Gould, quoting this (from Anastasius Sinaita, *05i776r, ed. 
Gretser, Ingolst. 1606, p. 269), attributes this shining face of Seth to his 
previous character as a Sun-god (' Old Test. Legends,' i. S4.) 


That this * Resurrection ' of departed glory and wisdom 
was really, as I have said, a Renaissance — a restoration 
of learning from the curse put upon it in the story of the 
Serpent — is indicated by its evolution in the Gnostic 
myth wherein Seth was made to avenge Satan. He took 
under his special care the Tree of the Knowledge of 
Good and Evil, and planted it in his father's grave (Fig. 
8). Rabbins carried their homage to Seth even to the 
extent of vindicating Saturn^ the most notorious of planets, 
and say that Abraham and the Prophets were inspired by 
it^ The Dog (Jackal) was, in Egyptian symbols, emblem 
of the Scribe ; Sirius was the Dog-star domiciled with 
Saturn ; Seth was by them identified with Sirius, as the 
god of occult and infernal knowlege. He was near 
relative of the serpent Sesha, familiar of iEsculapius, and 
so easily connected with the subtlest of the beasts in Eden 
which had crept in from the Iranian mythology. 

This reaction was instituted by scholars, who, in their 
necessarily timid way of fable, may be said to have 
recovered the Tree of Knowledge under guise of homage 
to Seth. It flourished, as we have seen (chap, xi.), to the 
extent of finally raising the Serpent to be a god, and 
lowering Jehovah who cursed him to a jealous devil ! 

But the terror with which Jehovah is said to have been 
inspired when he said, ' The man has become as one of us, 
to know good and evil,' never failed to reappear among 
priesthoods when anything threatened to remove the means 
of learning from under their control. The causes of this 
are too many to be fully considered here ; but the main 
cause unquestionably was the tendency of learning to re- 
lease men from the sway of the priest. The primitive 
man of science would speedily discover how many things 
existed of which his priest was ignorant, and thus the germ 

^ King's ' Gnostics,' p. 53, n. 


of Scepticism would be planted. The man who possessed 
the Sacred Books, in whole or in part, might become 
master of the ' spells ' supposed to be contained in its 
words and sentences, and might use them against the 
priests ; or, at any rate, he might feel independent of the 
ordinary apparatus of salvation. 

The anxiety of priests to keep fast hold of the keys of 
learning, so that no secular son of Adam should become 
' as one of them,' coupled with the wonderful powers they 
professed ability to exercise, powerfully stimulated the 
curiosity of intellectual men, and led them to seek after 
this forbidden fruit in subtle ways, which easily illustrated 
the story of the Serpent. The poet Shelley, who was 
suspected at Oxford because of his fondness for chemistry, 
recognised his mythological ancestry, and used to speak of 
*my cousin, the Serpent.' The joke was born of circum- 
stances sufficiently scandalous in the last generation to 
make the Oxonian of to-day blush ; but the like histories 
of earlier ages are so tragical that, when fully known by 
the common people, they will change certain familiar 
badges into brands of shame. While the cant goes on 
about the Church being the protector of learning through 
the dark ages, the fact is that, from the burning of valu- 
able books at Ephesus by christian fanatics (Acts xix. 
19) to the present day, the Church has destroyed tenfold 
more important works than it ever produced, and almost 
suffocated the intellectual life of a thousand years. Amid 
the unbroken persecution of the Jews by christian cruelty, 
which lasted from the early eleventh century for five hun- 
dred years, untold numbers of manuscripts were destroyed, 
which might have now been giving the world full and clear 
knowledge concerning ages, for whose records archaeo- 
logical scholars are painfully exploring the crumbled ruins 
of the East. Synagogues were believed to be temples of 


Satan ; they were plundered and razed to the ground, and 
their precious archives strewed the streets of many cities. 
On the 17th of June 1244 twenty-four cartloads of these 
ancient MSS. were burned in Paris alone. And all this 
by our holy ' protector of learning' through the Middle 

The Japanese have pictures of a famous magician who 
conjured up a demon — ^vast, vague, and terrible — out of 
his inkstand. They call it latterly ' emblem of a licentious 
press/ but, no doubt, it was originally used to terrify the 
country generally concerning the press. That Devil has 
also haunted the ecclesiastical imagination in Europe. 
Nearly every book written without priestly command was 
associated with the Devil, and there are several old books 
in Europe, laboriously and honestly written, which to this 
day are invested with popular superstitions reporting the 
denunciations with which they were visited. For some 
centuries it has been believed in Denmark and neighbour- 
ing countries that a strange and formidable book exists, 
by means of which you can raise or lay the Devil. It is 
vulgarly known as the Book of Cyprianus. The owner of 
it can neither sell, bury, or bum it, and if he cannot get 
rid of it before his death, he becomes the prey of the fiend. 
The only way of getting rid of it is to find somebody who 
will accept it as a present, well knowing what it is. Cypri- 
anus is said to have been a clever and virtuous young 
student, but he studied the black art in Norway, and came 
under the power of the Devil, who compelled him to use 
his unholy learning to evil ends. This grieved him sorely, 

and he wrote a book, in which he shows first, how evil 


shall be done, and then how to counteract it. The book is 
probably one which really exists or existed, and professed 
to teach the art of sorcery, and likewise the charms against 
it. It consists of three parts, severally called Cyprianus, 


Dr, Faust, and Jacob RameL The two latter are written 
in cypher. It teaches everything appertaining to 'sign- 
ing/ conjuring, second sight, and all the charms alluded 
to in Deuteronomy xviii. 10-12. The person possessing 
Cyprianus' book is said never to be in need of money, and 
none can harm him. The only way of getting rid of it is 
to put it away in a secret place in a church along with a 
clerk's fee of four shillings. 

In Stockholm I saw the so-called Devil's Bible, the 
biggest book in the world, in the Royal Library. It is lite- 
rally as they describe it, * gigas librorum * : no single man 
can lift it from the floor. It was part of the booty carried 
off by the Swedes after the surrender of Prague, A.D. 1648. 
It contains three hundred parchment leaves, each one 
made of an ass's hide, the cover being of oak planks, 
I J inches thick. It contains the Old and New Testa- 
ments ; yi?j^A^* Flavii Antiquitates JudaiccB ; Isidori Epis- 
copi L. XX, de diver sis materiis ; Confessio peccatorum ; 
and some other works. The last-named production is 
written on black and dark brown ground with red and 
yellow letters. Here and there sentences are marked 
* hcec sunt suspecta' * superstitiosa,' * prohibita' One MS., 
which is headed, ' Experimentum de furto et febribusl is 
a treatise in Monkish Latin on the exorcism of ghosts and 
evil spirits, charms against thieves and sickness, and 
various prescriptions in 'White Magic' The age of the 
book is considerably over three hundred years. The 
autograph of a German emperor is in it: * Ferdinandus 
Imperator Romanorum, A.D. 1577/ ^^^ volume is known 
in Sweden as Paris Bibel (Devil's Bible). The legend 
says, that a monk, suspected of black arts, who had 
been condemned to death, begged for life, and his judge 
mockingly told him that he would be pardoned only if he 
should produce next morning all the books here found 


and in this vast size. The monk invoked the Devil's 
assistance, and the ponderous volume was written in a 
single night. This Devil must have been one who prided 
himself more on his literary powers than his personal 
appearance ; for the face and form said to be his portrait, 
frontispiece of the volume, represent a most hideous ape, 
green and hairy, with horrible curled tusks. It is, no 
doubt, the ape Anerhahn of the Wagner legends ; Bums's 
* towzie tyke, black, grim, and large.' ^ 

I noticed particularly in this old work the recurrence of 
deep red letters and sentences similar to the ink which 
Fust used at the close of his earliest printed volumes to 
give his name, with the place and date of printing. Now 
Red is sacred in one direction as symbolising the blood of 
Christ, but it is also the colour of Judas, who betrayed 
that blood. Hence, while red letters might denote sacred 
days and sentences in priestly calendars, they might be 
supposed mimicry of such sanctities by * God's Ape* if 
occurring in secular works or books of magic It is 
said that these red letters were especially noted in Paris 
as indications of the diabolical origin of the works 
so easily produced by Fust ; and, though it is uncertain 
whether he suffered imprisonment, the red lines with his 
name appear to have been regarded as his signature in 

For a long time every successive discovery of science, 
every invention of material benefit to man, was beh'eved 
by priest-ridden peoples to have been secured by compact 
with the devil. The fate of the artist Prometheus, fettered 

^ TertuUian's phrase, * The Devil is God's Ape,' became popular at one 
time, and the Ape*devil had frequent representation in art — as, for instance, 
in Holbein's ' Crucifixion ' (1477), now at Augsburg, where a Devil with head 
of an ape, bat-wings, and flaming red legs is carrying off the soul of the im^ 
penitent thief. The same subject is found in the same gallery in an Altdorfer, 
where the Devil's face is that of a gorilla. 


by jealous Jove, was repeated in each who aspired to 
bring light to man, and some men of genius — such as Cor- 
nelius Agrippa, and Paracelsus — appear to have been fright- 
ened away from legitimate scientific research by the first 
connection of their names with sorcery. They had before 
them the example of the greatest scientific man of the 
Middle Ages, Roger Bacon, and knew how easily, in the 
priestly whisper, the chemist's crucible grew to a wizard's 
cauldron. The time may come when Oxford University 
will have learned enough to build a true memorial of the 
grandest man who ever wrote and taught within its walls. 
It would show Roger Bacon — rectifier of the Julian Calen- 
dar, analyst of lenses, inventor of spectacles and achro- 
matic lenses, probable constructor of the first telescope, 
demonstrator of the chemical action of air in combustion, 
inventor of the mode of purifying saltpetre and crystallis- 
ing it into gunpowder, anticipator of the philosophical 
method with which his namesake is credited — looking on 
a pile of his books for whose researches he had paid two 
thousand French livres, to say nothing of a life's labour, 
only to see them condemned by his University, their cir- 
culation prohibited ; and his sad gaze might be from the 
prison to which the Council of Franciscans at Paris sen- 
tenced him whom Oxford gladly delivered into their hands. 
He was condemned, says their historian Wadding, ^propter 
noviiates qtiasdain suspectas! The suspected novelties were 
crucibles, retorts, and lenses that made the stars look larger. 
So was it with the Oxford six hundred years ago. Unde- 
niably some progress had been made even in the last gene- 
ration, for Shelley was only forbidden to study chemistry, 
and expelled for his metaphysics. But now that it is 
claimed that Oxford is no longer partaker with them that 
stoned investigators and thinkers from Bacon to Shelley, 
it would be in order to build 'for its own great martyr of 


science a memorial, that superstition may look on one 
whom it has pierced. 

Referring to Luther's inkstand thrown at the Devil, Dr. 
Zerffii, in his lecture on the Devil, says, ' He (the devil) 
hates nothing so much as writing or printer's ink.' But 
the truth of this remark depends upon which of two devils 
be considered. It would hardly apply to the Serpent who 
recommended the fruit of knowledge, or to the University 
man in Lucas van Leyden's picture (Fig. 6). But if we 
suppose the Devil of Luther's Bible (Fig. 17) to be the one 
at which the inkstand was thrown, the 
criticism is correct. The two pictures 
mentioned may be instructively com- 
pared. Luther's Devil is the reply of 
the University to the Church. These 
are the two devils — the priest and the 
scholar— who glared at each other in 
the early sixteenth century. 'The 
Devil smelled the roast," says Luther, 
'that if the languages revived, his 
kingdom would get a hole which he 
could not easily stop ^ain.' And it 

Fig. 17.— LUTHIKI Dbviu , , , , . 

must be admitted that some of the 
monkish execrations of the time, indeed of many times 
since, have an undertone of Jahvistic jealousy. • These 
Knowers will become as one of us.' It must also be 
admitted that the clerical instinct told true: the Uni- 
versity man held in him that sceptical devil who is 
always the destroyer of the priest's paradise. These 
two devils which struggled with each other through 
the sixteenth century still wage their war in the arena 
of Protestantism. Many a Lutheran now living may 
remember to have smiled when Hofmann's experiments 
in discovering carbonic acid gas gained him repute for 
raising again Mephosto; but perhaps they did not re- 


cognise Luther's devil when, at the annual assembly of 
Lutheran Pastors in Berlin (Sept 1877), he reappeared 
as the Rev. Professor Grau, and said, ' Not a few listen 
to those striving to combine Christ with Belial, to recon- 
cile redeeming truth with modern science and culture.' 
But though they who take the name of Luther in vain 
may thus join hands with the Devil, at whom the Re- 
former threw his inkstand, the combat will still go on, 
and the University Belial do the brave work of Bel till 
beneath his feet lies the dragon of Darkness whether dis- 
guised as Pope or Protestant. 

If the Church wishes to know precisely how far the 
roughness pardonable in the past survives unpardonably 
in itself, let its clergy peruse carefully the following trans- 
lation by Mr. Leland of a poem by Heine; and realise 
that the Devil portrayed in it is, by grace of its own pre- 
lates, at present the most admired personage in every 
Court and fashionable drawing-room in Christendom. 

I called the Devil, and he came : 

In blank amaze his form I scan. 

He is not ugly, is not lame, 

But a refined, accomplished man, — 

One in the very prime of life, 

At home in every cabinet strife, 

Who, as diplomatist, can tell 

Church and State news extremely welL 

He is somewhat pale — and no wonder either, 

Since he studies Sanskrit and Hegel together. 

His favourite poet is still Fonqu^. 

Of criticism he makes no mention, 

Since all such matters unworthy attention 

He leaves to his grandmother, Hecat^. 

He praised my legal efforts, and said 

That he also when younger some law had read. 

Remarking that friendship like mine would be 

An acquisition, and bowed to me, — 

Then asked if we had not met before. 

At the Spanish Minister's soiree ? 

And, as I scanned his face once more, 

I found I had known him for many a day. 

( 2^^ ) 



Minor gods — Saint and Satyr — Tutelaries — Spells — Early Christianity 
and the poor — Its doctrine as to pagan deities — Mediaeval Devils 
— Devils on the stage — An Abbot's revelations — The fairer 
deities — Oriental dreams and spirits — Calls for Nemesis — Lilith 
and her children — Neoplatonicism — Astrology and Alchemy — 
Devil's College — Shem-hammphordsch — ^ApoUonius of Tyana — 
Faustus — Black Art Schools — Compacts with the Devil — Blood- 
covenant — Spirit-seances in old times — The Fairfax delusion — 
Origin of its devil — Witch, goat, and cat — Confessions of Witches 
— Witchcraft in New England — Witch trials — Salem demonology 
— Testing witches — Witch trials in Sweden — Witch Sabbath — 
Mythological elements — Carriers — Scotch Witches — The cauldron 
— Vervain — Rue — Invocation of Hecatd — Factors of Witch per- 
secution — Three centuries of massacre — Wiirzburg horrors — Last 
victims — Modem Spiritualism. 

St. Cyprian saw the devil in a flower.^ That little vision 
may report more than many more famous ones the con* 
sistency with which the first christians had developed the 
doctrine that nature is the incarnation of the Evil Spirit 
It reports to us the sense of many sounds and sights which 
were heard and seen by ears and eyes trained for such and 
no other, all showing that the genii of nature and beauty 
were vanishing from the earth. Over the i£gean sea were 
heard lamentations and the voice, ' Great Pan is dead ! ' 

* S. Cyp. ap. Muratori, Script it, i. 295, 545. The Magicians used to call 
their mirrors after the name of this flower-devil~/<'(0r^<. M. Mauiy, ' La 
Magic,* 435 n. 


Augustus consults the oracle of Apollo and receives 

reply — 

Me puer Hebrseus, Divos Deus ipse gubemans, 
Cedere sede jubet, tristremque redire sub orcum ; 
Aris ergo dehinc tacitis abscedito nosuis. 

But while the rage of these Fathers towards all the 
great gods and goddesses, who in their grand temples 
represented * the pride of life/ was remorseless, they were 
comparatively indifferent to the belief or disbelief of the 
lower classes in their small tutelary divinities. They 
appear almost to have encouraged belief in these, perhaps 
appreciating the advantages of the popular custom of 
giving generous offerings to such personal and domestic 
patrons. At a very early period there seems to have 
arisen an idea of converting these more plebeian spirits 
into guardian angels with christian names. Thus Jerome 
relates in his Life of the first Hermit Paul, that when St. 
Anthony was on his way to visit that holy man, he en- 
countered a Centaur who pointed out the way ; and next 
a human-like dwarf with horns, hooked fingers, and feet 
like those of a goat. St. Anthony believing this to be an 
apparition of the Devil, made the sign of the Cross ; but 
the little man, nowise troubled by this, respectfully ap- 
proached the monk, and having been asked who he was, 
answered : ' I am a mortal, and one of those inhabitants 
of the Desert whom the Gentiles in their error worship 
under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi: I am 
delegated by my people to ask of thee to pray for us to 
our common God, who we know has descended for the 
salvation of the world, and whose praises resound in all 
the earth/ At this glorification of Christ St. Anthony 
was transported with joy, and turning towards Alexandria 
he cried, 'Woe to thee, adulterous city, which adorest 
animals as gods 1 ' 

VOL. 11. T 


Perhaps the evolution of these desert demons into good 
christians would have gone on more rapidly and com- 
pletely if the primitive theologians had known as much of 
their history as comparative mythology has disclosed to 
the modern world. St Anthony was, however, fairly on 
the track of them when he turned towards Alexandria, 
Egypt appears to have been the especial centre from 
which were distributed through , the world the fetish 
guardians of provinces, towns, households and individuals. 
Their Serapes reappear in the Teraphim of Laban, and 
many of the forms they used reappear in the Penates, 
Lares, and genii of Latin countries. All these in their 
several countries were originally related to its ancient 
religion or mythology, but before the christian era they 
were very much the same in Egypt, Greece, and Italy. They 
were shaped in many different, but usually natural forms, 
such as serpents, dogs, boys, and old men, though often 
some intimation was given of their demonic character. 
They were so multiplied that even plants and animals 
had their guardians. The anthropomorphic genii called 
the Patrii, who were supposed to preside over provinces, 
were generally represented bearing weapons with which 
they defended the regions of which they were patrons. 
These were the Averrunci or Apotropaei. 

There are many interesting branches of this subject 
which cannot be entered into here, and others have already 
been considered in the foregoing parts of this work. It is 
sufficient for my present purpose to remark, that, in the 
course of time, all the households of the world had tradi- 
tional guardians ; these were generally represented in some 
shape on amulets and talismans, on which were commonly 
inscribed the verbal charms by which the patron could be 

summoned. In the process of further time the amulets 

especially such as were reproduced by tribes mi<Tratino- 

- / 

CHARMS. 291 

from the vicinity of good engravers — might be marked 
only with the verbal charms ; these agaia were, in the end, 
frequently represented only by some word or name. This 
was the 'spell.' Imagination fails in the effort to conceive 
how many strata of extinct deities had bequeathed to the 
ancient Egyptians those mystical names whose exact 
utterance they believed would constrain each god so named 
to appear and bind him to serve the invoker's purpose 
whether good or evil.^ This idea continued among the 
Jews and shaped the commandment, ' Thou shalt not take 
the name of the Lord thy God in vain.' 

It was in these diminutive forms that great systems 
survived among the common people. Amid natural con- 
vulsions ancient formations of faith were broken into 
fragments ; in the ebb and flow of time these fragments 
were smoothed, as it were, into these talismanic pebbles. 
Yet each of these conveyed all the virtue which had been 
derived from the great and costly ceremonial system from 
which it originally crumbled ; the virtue of soothing the 
mind and calming the nerves of sufferers with the feeling 
that, though they might have been assailed by hostile 
powers, they had friendly powers too who were active in 
their behalf — ^Vindicators, to recall Job's phrase — ^who at 
last would stand by them to the end. In the further ebb 
and flow of generations the mass of such charms are 
further pulverised into sand or into mud ; but not all of 
them : amid the mud will be found many surviving speci- 
mens, and such mud of accumulated superstitions is always 
susceptible of being remoulded after such lingering models, 
should occasion demand. 

Erasmus, in his 'Adages,' suggests that it was from these 
genii of 'the Gentiles' that the christians derived their 

^ This whole subject is treated, and with ample references, in M. Mauiy's 
' Magie,' p. 41, stq. 


notion of each person being attended by two angels, a 
good and a bad. Probably he was but half right The 
peoples to whom he refers did not generally believe that 
^each man was attended by a bad spirit, a personal enemy. 
That was an honour reserved for individuals particularly 
formidable to the evil powers, — Adam, Jacob, Hercules, 
or Zoroaster. The one preternatural power attending each 
ordinary individual defended him from the general forces 
of evil. But it was Christianity which, in the gradual 
effort to substitute patron -saints and guardian -angels 
of its own for the pagan genii, turned the latter from 
friends to enemies, and their protecting into assailing 

All the hereditary household gods of what is now called 
Christendom were diabolised. But in order that the 
masses might turn from them and invoke christian guar- 
dians, the Penates, Lares, and genii had to be belittled on 
the one hand, and the superior power of the saints and 
angels demonstrated. When Christianity had gained the 
throne of political power, it was easy to show that the 
Mmps,' as the old guardians were now called, could no 
longer protect their invokers from christian punishment, 
or confer equal favours. 

Christianity conquered Europe by the sword, but at 
first that sword was not wielded against the humble 
masses. It was wielded against their proud oppressors. 
To the common people it brought glad tidings of a new 
order, in which, under the banner of a crucified working- 
man and his (alleged) peasant mother, all caste should dis- 
appear but that of piety and charity. Christ eating with 
publicans and sinners and healing the wayside cripples 
reappeared in St Martin dividing his embroidered cloak 
with a beggar— type of a new aristocracy. They who 
worshipped the Crucified Peasant in the rock-cave of 


Tours which St. Martin had consecrated, or in h'ttle St. 
Martin's Church at Canterbury where Bertha was baptized, 
could not see the splendid cathedrals now visible from 
them, built of their bones and cemented with their blood. 
King Ethelbert surrendered the temple of his idol to the 
consecration of Augustine, and his baptized subjects had 
no difficulty in seeing the point of the ejected devil's talons 
on the wall which he assailed when the first mass was 
therein celebrated. 

Glad tidings to the poor were these that the persecuted 
first missionaries brought to Gaul, Britain, and Germany. 
But they did not last The. christians and the pagan 
princes, like Herod and Pilate, joined hands to crucify the 
European peasant, and he was reduced to a worse serfdom 
than he had suffered before. Every humble home in 
Europe was trampled in the mire in the name of Christ. 
The poor man's wife and child, and all he possessed were 
victims of the workman of Jerusalem turned destroyer of 
his brethren. Michelet has well traced Witchcraft to the 
Despair of *the Middle Ages.^ The decay of the old reli- 
gions, which Christianity had made too rapid for it to be 
complete, had left, as we have seen, all the trains laid 
for that terrible explosion ; and now its own hand of 
cruelty brought the torch to ignite them. Let us, at 
risk of some iteration, consider some of these combus- 
tible elements. 

In the first place the Church had recognised the exis- 
tence of the pagan gods and godesses, not wishing to 
imbreed in the popular mind a sceptical habit, and also 
having use for them to excite terror. Having for this 
latter purpose carved and painted them as ugly and 
bestial, it became further of importance that they should 
be represented as stupid and comparatively impotent 

1 • La Sorci^re.* 


Baptism could exorcise them, and a crucifix put thou- 
sands of them to flight. This tuition was not difficult. 
The peasantries of Europe had readily been induced to 
associate the newly announced (christian) Devil with 
their most mischievous demons. But we have already 
considered the forces under which these demons had 
entered on their decline before they were associated with 
Satan. Many conquered obstructions had rendered the 
Demons which represented them ridiculous. Hence the 
'Dummeteufel ' of so many German fables and of the 
mediseval miracle-plays. 'No greater 
proof,' says Dr. Dasent, ' can be given 
of the small hold which the christian 
Devil has taken of the Norse mind, than 
the heathen aspect under which he con- 
stantly appears, and the ludicrous way 
in which he is always outwitted.' * ' The 
Germans,' says Max Miiller, ' indoc- 
trinated with the idea of a real devil, 
the Semitic Satan or Diabolus, treated 
him in the most good-humoured man- 
ner.'* A fair idea of the insignificance 
he and his angels reached may be 
Fie ig— Dmu gained from the accompaning picture 
<0M Muni). ^Fig i8j_ „ith which a mediaeval Missal 

now in possession of Sir Joseph Hooker is illuminated. 
It could not be expected that the masses would fear 
beings whom their priests thus held up to ridicule. It 
is not difficult to imagine the process of evolution by 
which the horns of such insignificant devils turned to the 
asinine ears of such devils as this stall carving at Corbeil, 
near Paris (Fig. 19), which represented the popular view 
* DoKBt^t ' Norse Tales,' Introd. diL 
■■ Chips,' ii. 


of the mastery obtained by witches over devils. It must 
be remembered also that this power over devils was in 
accordance with the traditions concerning Solomon, and 
the subserviency of 
Oriental demons gene- 
rally to the lamps or 
charms to which they 
were bound. 

What the popular 
christian devil had 
become in all the 
Northern nations is 
sufficiently shown in 
the figure he pre- 
sented in most of the 
old miracle-plays and 

' Moralities. ' ' The ^* .9-C"v,«, «t co.«.u 

Devill in his fethers all ragged and rent,'* had horns, wide 
mouth, long (sometimes up-turned) nose, red beard, cloven 
foot, and tail. He was attended by a buffoon called Vice- 
'And,' says Harsenct, 'it was a pretty part in the old 
Church playes when the nimble Vice would skip up 
nimbly like a Jackanapes into the Devil's necke, and ride 
the Devil a course, and belabour him with a wooden 
dagger, till he made him roar, whereat the people would 
laugh to see the Devil so Vice-haunted.' ' The two must 
have nearly resembled the clown and his unhappy victim 
Pantaloon in our pantomimes, as to their antics. It would 
seem that sometimes holy personages were caricatured 
in the make-up of the stage-devil. Thus in 'Gammer 
Gurton's Needle ' we have this conversation : — 

Gamtner. But, Hodge, had he no horns to push ? 

> 'Chester Plays,' l6oa 
* ' Declaralion of Popish Imposluies,' 160J. 


Hodge, As long as your two armes. Saw ye never 

fryer Rushe 
Painted on cloth, with a side long cowe*s tayle 
And crooked cloven feet, and many a hooked nayle ? 
For all the world (if I should judge) should reckon him 

his brother ; 
Loke, even what face fryer Rushe had, the devil had 

such another. 

In the scene of Christ's delivering souls from purgatory, 
the Devil is represented as blowing lustily a horn to alarm 
his comrades, and crying, * Out, out, aronzt ! * to the 
invader. He fights with a three-pronged fork. He and 
his victims are painted black,^ in contrast with the souls 
of the saved, which are white. The hair was considered 
very important* When he went to battle, even his fiery 
nature was sometimes represented in a way that must 
have been more ludicrous than impressive.* 

The insignificance to which the priests had reduced the 
devil in the plays, where they were usually the actors, 
reflected their own petty routine of life. They could con- 
ceive of nothing more terrible than their own mean mis- 
haps and local obstructions. One great office of the Devil 
was to tempt some friar to sleep when he should be at 
prayer,* make another drink too much, or a third cast warm 
glances at a village beaut>\ The Revelations of the Abbot 
Richalmus, written seven hundred years ago, shows the 

^ So Shakespere, 'The Devil damn thee black.' 

!>! Jmv?/Tu ° n. J '^ ' ^"''" ""^ ^'^^^ Perseverance,' say - & he P* schal 

Sb\ U?;L \? \ ""^'^ ^'^ P""^' ''^^ i" PyPy« ^^'» hands* i V. 
4 * : . *^ "'^^^^ ^« e«>tJie to bataylc.' 

whirth^De^^l 7" ^^.^^P^^^^ I have seen an ancient Russian picture in 
V^J^ -^.^^^ '^'''^ * P"^^ ^ho has become drowsjover his 

Ir^it toXTh^rve^^ie ZT--' " '"'Z^'T' '' - ^^' 
berriet. '^mseives awake for their prayers by chewing coffee- 


Devil already far gone in his process of diminution. The 
Devil here concentrates the energies which once made the 
earth tremble on causing nausea to the Abbot, and making 
the choir cough while he is preaching. 'When I sit 
down to holy studies/ he says, 'the devils make me heavy 
with sleep. Then I stretch my hands beyond my cuffs to 
give them a chill. Forthwith the spirits prick me under 
my clothes like so many fleas, which causes me to put my 
hands on them ; and so they get warm again, and my 
reading grows careless.' 'Come, just look at my lip; for 
twenty years has an imp clung to it just to make it hang 
down.' It is ludicrous to find that ancient characteristic 
of the gods of Death already adverted to — their hatred of 
salt, the agent of preservation — descended from being the 
sign of Job's constancy to Jehovah into a mere item of the 
Abbot's appetite. * When I am at dinner, and the devil 
has taken away my appetite, as soon as I have tasted a 
little salt it comes back to me ; and if, shortly afterwards, 
I lose it again, I take some more salt, and am once more 
an hungered.'^ 

One dangerous element was the contempt into which, 
by many causes, the infernal powers had been brought. 
But a more dangerous one lay in another direction. 
Though the current phrases of the New Testament and 
of the Fathers of the Church, declaring this world, its 
wealth, loves, and pleasures, to be all the kingdom of 
Satan, had become cant in the mouths of priests ruling 
over Europe, it had never been cant to the humble 
peasantries. Although they had degraded many devils 
imported by the priests, it had been in connection with 
the declining terrors of their native demonologies. But 
above these degraded and hated gnomes and elves, whose 

* ' Liber Revelationum de Insidiis et Versutiis Doemonum adversus Homincji * 
See Rcvillc's Review of Roskoff, * The Devil/ p. 38. 


paternity had been transferred from Scetere to Satan, 
there was an array of beautiful deities — gentle gods and 
goddesses traditionally revered and loved as protectors of 
the home and the family — which had never really lost their 
hold on the common people. They might have shrunk 
before the aggressive victories of the Saints into little 
Fairies, but their continued love for the poor and the 
oppressed was the romance of every household. What 
did these good fairies do ? They sometimes loaded the 
lowly with wealth, if summoned in just the right way ; 
they sang secrets to them from trees as little birds, they 
smoothed the course of love, clothed ash-maidens in fine 
clothes, transported people through the air, enabled them 
to render themselves invulnerable, or invisible, to get out 
of prisons, to vanquish *the powers that be,' whether 
'ordained of God' or not Now all these were benefits 
which, by christian theory, could only be conferred by 
that Prince of this World who ministered to ' the pride 
of life.' 

Into homes which the priest and his noble had stripped of 
happiness and hope, — whose loving brides were for baptized 
Bluebeards, whose hard earnings were taken as the price 
of salvation from devils whose awfulness was departing, — 
there came from afar rumours of great wealth and splen- 
dour conferred upon their worshippers by Eastern gods and 
goddesses. The priests said all those were devils who 
would torture their devotees eternally after death ; yet it 
could not be denied that the Moors had the secret of 
lustres and ornamentation, that the heathen East was 
gorgeous, that all Christendom was dreaming of the 
wealth of Ormus and of Ind. Granted that Satan had 
come westward and northward, joined the scurvy crew of 
Loki, and become of little importance ; but what of Baal 
or Beelzebub, of Asmodeus, of the genii who built Solo- 


moil's temple, of rich Pluto, of august Ahriman ? Along 
with stories of Oriental magnificence there spread through 
Christendom names of many deities and demons ; many 
of them beautiful names^ too, euphemism having generally 
managed to bestow melodious epithets alike on deities 
feared and loved. * In Faust's * Miraculous Art and Book 
of Marvels, or the BFack Raven' (1469), the infernal heir- 
archy are thus named : — King', Lucifer ; Viceroy , Belial ; 
Gubematores^ Satan, Beelzebub, Astaroth, Pluto; Chief 
Princes^ Aziel, Mephistopheles, Marbuel, Ariel, Aniguel, 
Anisel, BarfaeL Seductive meanings, too, corresponding to 
these names, had filtered in some way from the high places 
they once occupied into the minds of the people. Lucifer 
was a fallen star that might rise again ; Belial and Beelze- 
bub were princes of the fire that rendered possible the 
arts of man, and the Belfires never went out in the cold 
North; Astarte meant beauty, and Pluto wealth; Aziel 
(Asael) was President of the great College of occult arts, 
from whom Solomon learned the secrets by which he 
made the jinni his slaves; Marbuel was the artist and 
mechanic, sometimes believed to aid artisans who pro- 
duced work beyond ordinary human skill ; Ariel was the 
fine spirit of the air whose intelligence corresponded to 
that of the Holy Ghost on the other side; Aniguel is the 
serpent of Paradise, generally written Anisel ; Anizazel is 
probably a fanciful relative of Azazel, 'the strong god;' 
and Barfael, who in a later Faust book is Barbuel, is an 
orientalised form of the 'demon of the long beard' who 
holds the secret of the philosopher's stone. 

In a later chapter the growth of favourable views of 
the devil is considered. Some of the legends therein 
related may be instructively read in connection with the 
development of Witchcraft. Many rumours were spread 
abroad of kindly assistance brought by demons to persons 


in distress. But even more than by hopes so awakened 
was the witch aided by the burning desire of the people 
for vengeance. They wanted Zamiel (Samael) to help 
them to mould the bullet that would not miss its mark. 
The Devil and all his angels had long been recognised by 
their catechists as being utilised by the Deity to execute his 
vengeance on the guilty ; and to serfs in their agony that 
devil who would not spare prince or priest was more 
desired than even the bestower of favours to their starving 
minds and bodies. 
I" Under the long ages of war in Europe, absorbing the 
energies of men, women had become the preservers of 
letters. The era of witchcraft in Europe found that sex 
alone able to read and write, arts disesteemed in men, 
among the peasantry at least. To them men turned when 
it had become a priestly lesson that a few words were 
more potent than the weapons of princes. Besides this, 
women were the chief sorcerers, because they were the 
chief sufferers. In Alsace (1615), out of seventy-five who 
perished as witches, sixty-two were women. The famous 
Malleus MaUficorum, which did more evil than any work 
ever published, deprives femina irom fide minus. Although 
in the Faust legend Mephistopheles objects to marriage, 
many stories represent diabolical weddings. Particular 
details were told of the marriage of Satan with the 
daughter of a Sorceress at Egnischen (1585), on which 
occasion the three towers of the castle there were said 
to have been illuminated, and a splendid banquet spread, 
the favourite dish being a ragout of bats. There was ex- 
quisite music, and a ' beautiful man ' blessed the nuptials. 
How many poor peasant girls must have had such dreams 
as they looked up from their drudgery to the brilliant 
chateaux ? 

In the illuminated manuscript known as ' Queen Mary's 

L/tlTH AS CAT. %o\ 

Psalter' (iS53) there is a picture of the Fall of Man 
(Fig. 20} which possesses far-reaching significaiice. It is a 
modification of that idea, which gained such wide currency 
in the Middle Ages, that it was the serpent-woman Lilith 
who had tempted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit In 
this picture, while the beautiful face and ample hair of 
Lilith are given, instead of the usual female bust she has 
the body of a cat This nocturnal animal, already sacred 
to Freyja, the Teutonic Venus, whose chariot it drew, 
gained a new mytbole^ical career in the North by the 

large number of Southern and Oriental stories which 
related it to the lunar and amorous demonesses. When 
the gods fled before the Titans, Diana, as Ovid relates, 
changed herself to a cat, and as infernal Hecate that 
animal was still beside her. If my reader will turn to 
vol. i. p. 130, some of the vast number of myths which 
prepared the cat to take its place as familiar of the 
witch may be found. Whether the artist had Lilith in his 
mind or not, the illumioation in ' Queen Mary's Psalter ' 


represents a remarkable association of myths. For Lilith 
was forerunner of the mediaeval mothers weeping for their 
children ; her voice of perpetual lamentation at the cruel 
fate allotted her by the combined tyranny of God and man 
was heard on every sighing wind ; and she was the richly 
dressed bride of the Prince of Devils, ever seeking to tempt 
youth. Such stories floated through the mind of the 
Middle Ages, and this infernal Madonna is here seen ia 
association with the cat, beneath whose soft sparkling fur 
the goddess of Love and Beauty was supposed to be still 
lurking near the fireside of many a miserable home. 
Some fragrance of the mystical East was with this feline 
beauty, and nothing can be more striking than the con- 
trast which the ordinary devils beside her present Their 
unseductive ugliness and meanness is placed out of sight 
of the pair tempted to seek the fruit of forbidden know- 
ledge. They inspire the man and woman in their evidently 
eager grasping after the fruit, which here means the con- 
sultation of fair fortune-tellers and witches to obtain that 
occult knowledge for which speculative men are seeking 
in secret studies and laboratories. 

Those who have paid attention to the subject of Witch- 
craft need not be reminded that its complexity and vast- 
ness would require a larger volume than the present to 
deal with it satisfactorily. The present study must be 
limited to a presentation of some of the facts which induce 
the writer to believe that, beneath the phenomena, lay a 
profound alienation from Christianity, and an effort to 
recall the banished gode which it had superseded. 

The first christian church was mainly Jewish, and this is 
also to say that it inherited the vast Angelolatry and the 
system of spells which that tribe had brought from Baby- 
lon. To all this was now superadded the accumulation of 
Assyrian and Egyptian lore which was re-edited in the 


iorm of Neoplatonicism. This mongrel mass, constituted 
of notions crumbled from many systems, acquired a certain 
consistency in Gnosticism. The ancient Egyptians had 
colleges set apart for astrological study, and for culti- 
vation of the art of healing by charms. Every month, 
decade,, day of the year had its special guardian in the 
heavens. The popular festivals were astronomic. To the 
priests in the colleges were reserved study of the sacred 
books in which the astrological secrets were contained, 
and whose authorship was attributed to the god Thoth, in- 
ventor of writing, the Greek Hermes, and, later, Egyptian 
Hermes Trismegistus. The zodiac is a memorial of the 
influence which the stars were supposed to exert upon the 
human body. Alchemy (the word is Egyptian, Kimi 
meaning 'black earth') was also studied in connection 
with solar, lunar, and stellar influences. The Alchemists 
dreamed of discovering the philosopher's stone, which 
would change base metals to gold ; and Diocletian, in burn- 
ing the Alchemists' books, believed that, in so doing, he 
would deprive the Egyptians of their source of wealth.^ 

Imported into Greece, these notions and their cult 
had a twofold development. Among the Platonists they 
turned to a naturalistic and allegorical Demonology; 
among the uncultivated they formed a Diabolarchy, which 
gathered around the terrible lunar phantasm — Hecate. 

The astrological College of Egypt gave to the Jews 
their strange idea of the high school maintained among 
the devils, already referred to in connection with Asmo- 
deus, who was one of its leading professors. The rabbi- 
nical legend was, that two eminent angels, Asa and Asael, 
remonstrated with the Creator on having formed man 
only to give trouble. The Creator said they would have 
done the same as man under similar circumstances ; where- 

1 See M. Maury's 'Magie,' p. 48. 


upon Asa and Asael proposed that the experiment should 
be tried. They went to earth, and the Creator's prediction 
was fulfilled : they were the first ' sons of God ' who fell in 
love with the daughters of men (Gen. vi. 2). They were 
then embodied. In heaven they had been angels of espe- 
cial knowledge in divine arts, and they now used their 
spells to reascend. But their sin rendered the spells 
powerless for that, so they repaired to the Dark Moun- 
tains, and there established a great College of Sorcery. 
Among the many distinguished graduates of this College 
were Job, Jethro, and Bileam. It was believed that these 
three instructed the soothsayers who attempted to rival 
the miracles of Moses before Pharaoh. Job and Jethro 
were subsequently converted, but Bileam continued his 
hostility to Israel, and remains a teacher in the College. 
Through knowledge of the supreme spell — the Shem-- 
hammpkordsch, or real name of God — Solomon was able to 
chain Professor Asmodeus, and wrest from him the secret 
of the worm Schdmir, by whose aid the Temple was built 
Traditions of the learning of the Egyptians, and of the 
marvels learned by Solomon from Asa and Asael by which 
he compelled demons to serve him, and the impressive 
story of the Witch of Endor, powerfully influenced the 
inquisitive minds of Europe. The fierce denunciations of 
all studies of these arts of sorcery by the early Church 
would alone reveal how prevalent they were. The 
wonderful story of ApoUonius of Tyana,^ as told by 
Philostratus, was really a kind of gospel to the more 
worldly-minded scholars. Some rabbins, following the out- 
cry against Jesus, * He casteth out devils by Beelzebub,' cir- 
culated at an early date the story that Jesus had derived his 
power to work miracles from the spell Shem-hammphordsch^ 

^ The history has been well related by a little work by Dr. Albert R^ville : 
* ApoUonius of Tyana, the Pagan Christ.' Chatto & Windus. 


which he found on one of the stones of the Temple where 
Solomon had left it Though Eusebius cast doubt upon 
them, the christians generally do not appear to have denied 
the miracles of Apollonius, which precisely copy those of 
Jesus from the miraculous birth to the ascension, but even 
to have quoted them as an evidence of the possibility of 
miracles. Celsus having attributed the miracles of Jesus 
to sorcery, and said that magic influenced only the igno- 
rant and immoral, Origen replies that, in order to convince 
himself of the contrary, he has only to read the memoirs 
of Apollonius by Maeragenes, who speaks of him as a 
philosopher and magician, who repeatedly exercised his 
powers on philosophers. Arnobius and the fathers of the 
fourth century generally believed in the Apollonian thau- 
maturgy and attributed it to magic Aldus Manutius 
published the book of Fhilostratus in the fifteenth cen- 
tury, and the degree to which the fascinating and marvel- 
lous stories concerning Apollonius fired the European 
imagination just awaking under the breath of the Renais- 
sance, may be estimated by the fury with which the 
'magician' was anathematised by Pico della Mirandola, 
Jean Bodin, and Baronius. The book and the controversy 
attracted much attention, and while the priests still con- 
tinued to charge Apollonius with being a * magician,' they 
appear to have perceived that it would have been more to 
the point, so far as their real peril was concerned, to have 
proved him an impostor. Failing that, Dr. Faustus and 
his fellow-professors in the * black art ' were left masters of 
the situation. The people had to digest the facts admitted, 
that a Pagan had learned, by initiations into the astro- 
logical schools of Egypt and India, the means of heal- 
ing the sick, raising the dead, flying through the air, 
throwing off chains, opening locks, rendering himself in- 
visible, and discerning the future. 


3o6 FA USTUS. 

There was a call for some kind of ApoUonius, and 
Faustus arose. Side by side flourished Luther and 
Faustus, To Roman Catholic eyes they were twin sons 
of the Devil ;^ that they were characteristic products of 
one moral age and force appears to me certain, even as 
to-day the negations of Science and the revival of * Spirit- 
ualism * have a common root in radical disbelief of the 
hereditary dogmas and forms of so-called religion. It is, 
however, not surprising that Protestantism felt as much 
horror of its bastard brother as Science has of the ghostly 
seances. Through the early sixteenth century we can 
trace this strange Dr. Faustus (* auspicious,' he had chosen 
that name) going about Germany, not omitting Erfurth, 
and talking in taverns about his magic arts and powers. 
More is said of him in the following chapter ; it is sufficient 
to observe here, and it is the conclusion of Professor 
Morley, who has sifted the history with his usual care, 
that about him, as a centre of crystallisation, tales ascribed 
in the first place to other conjurers arranged themselves, 
until he became the popular ideal of one who sought to 
sound the depths of this world's knowledge and enjoy- 
ments without help from the Church or its God. The 
priests did not doubt that this could be done, nor did 
the Protestants; they generally agreed that it could be 
accomplished at cost of the soul. As angels of the good 
God must answer to the formulas of invocation to those 
who had made a sacramental compact with their Chiefs 
so was it possible to share a sacrament of Satan, and by 
certain invocations summon his infernal angels to obtain 
the pleasures of this world of which he is Prince. A thou- 
sand years' experience of the Church had left the poor 

1 Sinistrari names Luther as one of eleven persons whom he enumerates as 
having been begotten by Incubi, * En fin, comme I'ecrit Codcns, cite par Malu- 
enda, ce damn^ Her<^iarque, qui a nom Martin Luther.*— • D^monialite/ ja 


ready to sign the compact if they could secure some little 
earthly joy. As for Heaven, if it were anything like what 
its ministers had provided for the poor on earth, Hell might 
be preferable after all. 

Dr. Wuttke, while writing his recent work on German 
superstitions, was surprised to learn that there still exist 
in France and in Wurtemberg schools for teaching the 
Black Art. A priest in the last-named country wrote 
him that a boy had confessed to having passed the lower 
grade of such a school, but, scared by the horrid cere- 
monies, had pronounced some holy words which destroyed 
the effect of the wicked practices, and'struck the assembled 
Devil-worshippers with consternation. The boy said he 
had barely escaped with his life. I have myself passed 
an evening at a school in London * for the development of 
Spirit-mediums,' and possibly Dr. Wuttke's correspondent 
would describe these also as Devil-worshippers. No doubt 
all such circles might be traced archaeologically to that 
Sorcerers' College said by the rabbins to have been kept 
by Asa and Asael. But what moral force preserved them ? 
They do but represent a turning of methods made familiar 
by the Church to coax benefits from other supernatural 
powers in the hope that they would be less dilatory than 
the Trinity in bestowing their gifts. What is the differ- 
ence between St. Wolfram's God and King Radbot's 
Devil ? The one offers a golden mansion on earth 
warranted to last through eternity, the other a like 
mansion in the skies receivable after death. The Saint 
agrees that if Radbot's Devil can build him such a house 
the king would be quite right to worship the architect. 
The question of the comparative moral merits of the two 
invisible Powers is not mentioned. This legend, related 
in a preceding chapter, is characteristic of the motives to 
which the priesthood appealed through the Middle Ages. 


It is no wonder that the people began to appeal to the 
gods of their traditional Radbots^ nor that they should 
have used the ceremonial and sacramental formulas around 

But to these were added other formulas borrowed from 
different sources. The 'Compact with the Devil' had in 
it various elements. It appears to have been a custom 
of the Odinistic religion for men to sign acts of self- 
dedication to trusted deities, somewhat corresponding to 
the votive tablets of Southern religion. It was a legend 
of Odin that when dying he marked his arm with the 
point of a spear, aitd this may have been imitated. In 
the 'Mysteries' of pagan and christian systems blood 
played an important part — the human blood of earlier 
times being symbolised by that of animals, and ultimately, 
among christians, in wine of the Eucharist. The primitive 
history of this blood-covenant is given in another chapter. 
Some astrological formulas, and many of the deities in- 
voked, spread through Europe with the Jews. The actual, 
and quite as often fabulous, wealth of that antichristian 
race was ascribed to Antichrist, and while christian princes 
thought of such gold as legitimate spoil, the honest peasants 
sought from their astrologers the transmitted 'key of 
Solomon/ in virtue of which the demons served him. The 
famous ' Compact ' therefore was largely of christian- 
judaic origin, and only meant conveyance of the soul in 
consideration of precisely the same treasures as those 
promised by the Church to all whose names were written 
in the Lamb's Book, — the only difference being in the 
period when redemption of the respective issues of priest 
and astrologer should fall due. One was payable during 
this life, the other after death. 

The ceremonial performances of Witchcraft have also 
always existed in some form. What we are familiar with 


of late as Spirit-seances are by no means new. More than 
a hundred years ago, Mr. Wesley and various clergymen 
were sitting at a table in Cock Lane, asking the spirit 

• Fanny ' to rap twice if she were * in a state of progressive 
happiness/ Nay, a hundred years before that (1661), Sir 
Thomas Chamberlain and others, sitting in a haunted 
house at Tedworth, Wilts, asked * Satan, if the Drummer 
set thee to work, give three knocks, and no more, which it 
did very distinctly, and stopped.* ^ We also learn that, in 
another town and case (1654), 'a naked arm and hand 
appeared and beat the floor/ It would not be difficult to 
go further back and find that the dark circle of our Spiri- 
tualists with much of its apparatus has existed con- 
tinuously through the Middle Ages. The dark seance 
which Goethe has represented in Faust, Part II., at which 
the spirits of Helen and Paris are evoked, is a very accu- 
rate picture of the 'materialisations' now exhibited by 
mediums, more than forty years after its publication. 
These outer resemblances are physiognomical. The seance 
of to-day has lost the darker features of its mediaeval pro- 
totype, because the Present has not a real and temporal, 
but only a speculative and sentimental despair, and this is 
the kind that possesses chiefly the well-to-do and idle 
classes. It is not difficult to meet the eye of our everyday 
human nature amid those frenzied periods when whole 
districts seemed afflicted with epidemic madness, and look 
deep in that eye to the fathomless heart of humanity. 

In an old parish register of Fewston, Yorkshire, are the 
following entries: — '1621. Anne, daughter of Edward 
Fairfax, baptized the 12th June/ * 162 1. Edward Fairfax, 
Esq., a child named Anne, buried the 9th October.' Then 
in the History of Knaresborough we read of this child, 

* She was held to have died through witchcraft.' In what 

^ GUnvil's ' Saducismus.' 


dreams did that child, supposed to have been snatched 
away by diabolic malice, return as a pure spirit uplifted ii>. 
light, yet shadowed by the anxiety and pain of the bereaved 
family ! A medium is at hand, one through whose mind 
and heart all the stormy electricities of the time are playing. 
The most distinguished representative of the Fairfax family 
is oflf fighting for Parliament against the King. Edward 
Fairfax is a zealous Churchman. His eldest daughter, 
Helen, aged twenty-one, is a parishioner of the Rev. Mr. 
Smithson, yet she has come under the strong influence of a 
Nonconformist preacher, Mr. Cook. The scholarly clergy- 
man and his worldly Church on one side, and the ignorant 
minister with his humble followers on the other, are 
unconscious personifications of Vice and Virtue, while 
between them poor Helen is no Heraklea. 

Nineteen days after the burial of her little sister Anne, 
as mentioned above, Helen is found * in a deadly trance.' 
After a little she begins to speak, her words showing that 
she is, by imagination, ' in the church at Leeds, hearing a 
sermon by Mr. Cook.' On November 3, as she lies on 
her bed, Helen exclaims, 'A white cat hath been long 
upon me and drawn my breath, and hath left in my mouth 
and throat so filthy a smell that it doth poison me!' 
Next we h?,ve the following in the father's diary : ' ItenL 
Upon Wednesday, the 14th of November, she saw a black 
dog by her bedside, and, after a little sleep, she had an 
apparition of one like a young gentleman, very brave, his 
apparel all laid with gold lace, a hat with a golden band, 
and a ruff in fashion. He did salute her with the same 
compliment as she said Sir Fernandino Fairfax useth when 
he cometh to the house and saluteth her mother. . . . He 
said he was a Prince, and would make her Queen of Eng- 
land and of all the world if she would go with him. She 
refused, and said, ' In the name of God, what art thou ? ' 


He presently did forbid her to name God ; to which she 
replied, 'Thou art no man if thou canst not abide the 
name of God ; but if thou be a man, come near, let me 
feel of thee ; ' which he would not do, but said, ' It is no 
matter for feeling.* She proceeded, * If thou wert a man, 
thou wouldst not deny to be felt ; but thou art the devil, 
and art but a shadow.' 

It is possible that Helen Fairfax had read in Shakspere's 

* Lear,' printed twelve years before, that 

The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman ; 
Modo he's called, and Mahu.^ 

But the reader will remark how her vision anticipates 
that of Faust, the transformation of the poodle to finely- 
dressed Mephistopheles. On the next apparition a bit 
from Patmos is interpolated, the Devil appearing as a 
beast with many horns ; but the folklore of Yorkshire pre- 
vails, and 'presently he was like a very little dog, and 
desired her to open her mouth and let him come into her 
body, and then he would rule all the world.* Lastly, he 

* filled the room with fire.' 

In the account thus far we have the following items of 
ancient mythology: — i, the Cat ; 2, the Dog ; 3, the Pride 
of Life (Asmodeus), represented in the fine dress and man- 
ners of the fiend; 4, the Prince of this World, offering its 
throne ; S, the Egyptian belief in potency of the Name ; 

6, the Hunger-Demon, who dares not be felt, because his 
back is hollow, and, though himself a shadow, casts none ; 

7, the disembodied devil of the rabbins, who seeks to enter 
a human form, in order to enjoy the higher powers of 
which man is capable ; 8, the fiend of fire. 

The period in which Helen Fairfax lived supplied forms 

^ King Lear, iii. 4. Asmodeus and Mohammed are, no doubt, corrupted in 
these names, which are given as those of devils in Harsenet's ' Declaration of 
Popish Impostures.' 


for the ' materialisation ' of these notions flitting from 
the ancient cemeteries of theology. The gay and gallant 
Asmodeus had been transformed into a goat under the 
ascetic eye of Europe ; his mistress is a naked witch ; her 
familiar and slave is a cat This is the conventionalised 
theolc^ic theory, as we iind it in many examples, one 
of which is here shown (Fig. 21), as copied from a stone 
panel at the entrance of Lyons Cathedral. This is what 
Helen's visions end in. She and her younger sister of 

rij. II A Witch (Lyons CuhtdnJ). 

seven years, and a young neighbour, a girl of twelve, who 
have become infected with Helen's hysterics, identify six 
poor women as witches, and Edward Fairfax would have 
secured their execution had it not been for the clergyman 

Cats played a lai^e part in this as in other witch-trials. 
They had long been regarded as an insurance of humble 
households. In many regions still may be found beliefs 
that a three-coloured cat protects against fire ; a black cat 
cures epilepsy, protects gardens; and in Bohemia a cat 


is the favourite bridal gift to procure a happy wedded 
life. One who kills a cat has no luck for seven years. 
The Yorkshire women called witches remembered these 
proverbs to their cost. Among the cats regarded by the 
Fairfaxes as familiars of the accused, some names are not- 
able. One is called ' Gibbe.' This is the Icelandic gabba^ 
to ' delude/ and our gibber ; it is the * Gib ' cat of Reinicke 
Fuchs, and of the ' Romaunt of the Rose.* In * Gammer 
Gurton* we read, ' Hath no man gelded Gyb, her cat;' 
and in Henry IV. i. 2, ' I am as melancholy as a gib cat.' 
Another of the cats is called Inges, That is, ignis, fire — 
Agni maintaining his reign of terror. 

Helen's devil hates the dissenter, and says, * Cook is a 
lying villain/ because Cook exorcises him with a psalm. 
On the other hand, the devil praises the clergyman, but 
Helen breaks out with * He is not worthy to be a vicar 
who will bear with witches.' Amid the religious con- 
troversies then exciting all households, mourning for his 
dead child, humiliated by the suspicions of his best 
neighbours that his daughter was guilty of deception, 
£dward Fairfax, Gentleman, a scholar and author, lent 
an ear to the vulgar superstitions of his neighbourhood. 
Could he have stood on the shoulders of Grimm, he would 
have left us a very different narrative than that preserved 
by the Philobiblion Society.^ 

It is hardly possible to determine now the value of the 
alleged confessions of witches. They were extorted by 
torture or by promises of clemency (the latter rarely ful- 
filled) ; they were shaped by cross-examiners rather than 
by their victims ; and their worth is still more impaired 
where, as is usual, they are not given in detail, but 

^ 'A Discourse of Witchcraft As it was acted in the Family of Mr. 
Edward Fairfax, of Fuystone, in the county of York, in the year 162 1. SiH 
tarat malum, qm alteriparat* 


recorded in ' substance/ the phraseology in such case reflect- 
ing the priest's preconceived theory of witches and their 
orgies. It is to be feared, for instance, that * devil ' is often 
written instead of some name that might now be interest- 
ing. Nevertheless, there seems to be ground for believing 
that in many cases there were seances held to invoke 
supernatural powers, 

Among the vast number of trials and confessions, I 
have found none more significant than the following. 
In February 1691 a daughter and niece of Mr. Parris, 
minister in Salem (Massachusetts), girls of ten or eleven 
years, and several other girls, complained of various 
bodily torments, and as the physicians could find no 
cause for them, they were pronounced bewitched. The 
Rev. Mr. Parris had once been in business at the Bar- 
badoes, and probably brought thence his two slaves, 
Spanish Indians, man and wife. When the children were 
declared bewitched, the Indian woman, Tituba, tried an 
experiment, probably with fetishes familiar in the Bar- 
badoes, to find out the witch. Whereupon the children 
cried out against the Indian woman as appearing to them 
and tormenting them. Tituba said her mistress, in her 
own country, had taught her how to find out a witch, but 
denied being one herself; but afterwards (urged, as she 
subsequently declared, by her master) she confessed ; and 
the marks of Spanish cruelty on her body were assumed 
to be the Devil's wounds. The Rev. Mr. Parris in a 
calmer time might have vindicated poor Tituba by taking 
for text of his sermon on the subject Christ's saying about 
a house divided against itself, and reminding the colony, 
which held public fast against Satan, that the devil was 
too clever to cover his Salem agent with wounds; but 
instead of that he preached on the words, * Have I not 
chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil.' During 

■— 1 


this sermon a woman left the church ; she was sister of a 
woman who had also been accused by the children, and, 
being offended by something Mr. Parris said, went out of 
meeting ; of course, also to prison. There were three other 
women involved with Tituba, in whose fetish experiments 
a well-informed writer thinks the Salem delusion began.^ 
The examination before the Deputy-Governor (Dan forth) 
began at Salem, April 11, 1692, and there are several 
notable points in it. Tituba's husband, the Indian John, 
cunningly escaped by pretending to be one of the afflicted. 
He charged Goody Proctor, and said, *She brought the 
book to me.* No one asked what book ! Abigail Williams, 
also one of the accusers of Goody, was asked, * Does she 
bring the book to you ? A. Yes. Q, What would she 
have you do with it } A. To write in it, and I shall be 
well.' Not a descriptive word is demanded or given con- 
cerning this book. The examiners are evidently well 
acquainted with it. In the alleged confessions preserved 
in official reports, but not in the words of the accused, the 
nature of the book is made clear. Thus Mary Osgood 
* confesses that about eleven years ago, when she was in a 
melancholy state and condition, she used to walk abroad 
in her orchard, and, upon a certain time she saw the 
appearance of a cat at the end of the house, which yet 
she thought was a real cat. However, at that time it 
diverted her from praying to God, and instead thereof 
she prayed to the Devil ; about which time she made a 
covenant with the Devil, who, as a black man, came to 
her, and presented her a book, upon which she laid her 
finger, and that left a red spot. And that upon her sign- 
ing that book, the devil told her that he was her god.' 

^ W. F. Poole, Librarian of Chicago, to whom I am indebted for a copy 
of Governor Thomas Hutchinson's account of ' The Witchcraft Delusion of 
1792,* with his valuable notes on the same. 


This IS not unlikely to be a paraphrase of some sermon 
on the infernal Book of Satan corresponding to the 
Book of Life, the theory being too conventional for the 
court to inquire about the mysterious volume. Equally 
well known was the Antichrist theory which had long 
represented that avatar of Satan as having organised a 
church. Thus we read : — * Abigail Williams, did you 
see a company at Mr. Farris's house eat and drink ? A, 
Yes, sir; that was their sacrament. Q. What was it? 
A, They said it was our blood.' * Mary Walcot, have you 
seen a white man } A. Yes, sir, a great many times. Q, 
What sort of man was he .^ A, K fine grave man, and 
when he came he made all the witches to tremble.' When 
it is remembered that Mary Osgood had described the 
Devil as ' a black man ' (all were thinking of the Indians), 
this Antiblackman suggests Christ resisting Antichrist 
Again, although nothing seems to have been said in the 
court previously about baptism, one of the examiners 
asks * Goody Laccy how many years ago since they were 
baptized ? A. Three or four years ago 1 suppose. Q, 
Who baptized them ? A, The old serpent. Q, How did 
he do \\.} A. He dipped their heads in the water, saying 
they were his, and that he had power over them ; . . . there 
were six (who) baptized. 0. Name them. A. I think they 
were of the higher powers ' 

There are interspersed through the proceedings sug- 
gestions of mercy on condition of confession, which, 
joined to these theoretical questions, render it plain 
that the retractations which the so-called witches made 
were true, and that in New England, at least, there 
was little if any basis for the delusion beyond the ex- 
periment of the two Spanish Indians. The terrible mas- 
sacre of witches which occurred there was the result of 
the decision of English judges and divines that witch- 



craft is recognised in the Bible, and there assigned the 

It will be observed here that ancient mythology to 
Salem is chiefly that of the Bible, modified by local con- 
ditions. White man and black man represent Christ and 
Antichrist, and we have the same symbols on both sides, — 
eucharists, baptisms, and names written in books. The 
survivals from European folklore met with in the New 
England trials are — ^the cat, the horse (rarely), and the dog. 
In one case a dog suflered from the repute of being a 
witch, insomuch that some who met him fell into fits ; he 
was put to death. Riding through the air continues, but 
the American witches ride upon a stick or pole. The old- 
fashioned broom, the cloud-symbol of the Wild Huntsman, 
is rarely mentioned. One thing, however, survives from 
England, at least ; the same sharp controversy that is 
reflected in the Fairfax case. Cotton Mather tried one of 
the possessed with the Bible, the ' Assembly's Catechism,' 
his grandfather's ' Milk for Babes,' his father^s ' Remarkable 
Providence,' and a book to prove there were witches. 'And 
when any of those were oflered for her to read in, she 
would be struck dead and fall into convulsions.' But 
when he tried her with Popish and Quaker books, the 
English Prayer-Book, and a book to prove there were no 
witches, the devil permitted her to read these as long as 
she pleased. One is at a loss which most to admire, the 
astuteness of the accused witch in bearing testimony to 
the Puritan religion, or the phenomenon of its eminent 
representative seeking a witness to it in the Father of lies. 

If now we travel towards the East we find the survivals 
growing clearer, as in the West they become faint 

In 1669 the people of the villages of Mohra and Elfdale 
in Sweden, believing that they were troubled by witches, 
were visited by a royal commission, the result of whose 


investigations was the execution of twenty-three adults 
and fifteen children ; running of the gauntlet by thirty-six 
between the ages of nine and sixteen years ; the lashing 
on the hand of twenty children for three Sundays at the 
church* door, and similiar lashing of the aforesaid thirty- 
six once a week for a year. Portions of the confessions 
of the witches are given below from the Public Register 
as translated by Anthony Horneck, D.D., and printed in 
London, anno 1700. I add a few words in brackets to 
point out survivals. 

' We of the province of Elfdale do confess that we used 
to go to a gravel-pit which lay hard by a cross-way 
(Hecate), and there we put on a vest (Wolf-girdle) over 
our heads, and then danced round, and after this ran to 
the cross-way, and called the Devil thrice, first with a still 
voice, the second time somewhat louder, and the third 
time very loud, with these words — Antecessor, come and 
carry us to Blockula, Whereupon immediately he used to 
appear, but in different habits ; but for the most part we 
saw him in a grey coat and red and blue stockings : he 
had a red beard (Barbarossa), a high-crowned hat (Turn- 
cap), with linen of divers colours wrapt about it^ and 
long garters upon his stockings. 

* Then he asked us whether we would serve him with 
soul and body. If we were content to do so, he set us 
upon a beast which he had there ready, and carried us 
over churches and high walls ; and after all we came to 
a green meadow where Blockula lies. We must procure 
some scrapings of altars, and filings of church clocks; 
and then he gives us a horn with a salve in it, where- 
with we do anoint ourselves (chrism) ; and a saddle 
with a hammer (Thor's), and a wooden nail, thereby to 
fix the saddle (Walkyr's) ; whereupon we call upon the 
Devil and away we go.' 


' For their journey, they said they made use of all sorts 
of instruments, of beasts, of men, of spits, and posts, 
according as they had opportunity : if they do ride upon 
goats (Azazel) and have many children with them, that 
all may have room, they stick a spit into the backside of 
the Goat, and then are anointed with the aforesaid oint- 
ment. What the manner of their journey is, God only 
knows. Thus much was made out, that if the children did 
at any time name the names (Egyptian spells) of those 
that had carried them away, they were again carried by 
force either to Blockula, or to the cross-way, and there 
miserably beaten, insomuch that some of them died of it.' 

' A little girl of Elfdale confessed that, naming the name 
of Jesus as she was carried away, she fell suddenly upon 
the ground, and got a great hole in her side, which the 
Devil presently healed up again, and away he carried her ; 
and to this day the girl confessed she had exceeding great 
pain in her side.' 

' They unanimously confessed that Blockula is situated 
in a delicate large meadow, whereof you can see no end. 
The place or house they met at had before it a gate 
painted with divers colours; through this gate they went 
into a little meadow distinct from the other, where the 
beasts went that they used to ride on ; but the men whom 
they made use of in their journey stood in the house by 
the gate in a slumbering posture, sleeping against the 
wall (castle of Waldemar). In a huge large room of this 
house, they said, there stood a very long table, at which 
the witches did sit down ; and that hard by this room was 
another chamber where there were very lovely and delicate 
beds. The first thing they must do at Blockula was, that 
they must deny all, and devote themselves body and soul 
to the Devil, and promise to serve him faithfully, and 
confirm all this with an oath (initiation). Hereupon they 


cut their fingers (Odinism), and with their blood write 
their name in his book (Revelations). They added that he 
caused them to be baptized, too, by such priests as he had 
there (Antichrist's Sacraments).' 

* And he, the Devil, bids them believe that the day of 
judgment will come speedily, and therefore sets them on 
work to build a great house of stone (Babel), promising 
that in that house he will preserve them from God's fury, 
and cause them to enjoy the greatest delights and plea- 
sures (Moslem). But while they work exceeding hard at 
it, there falls a great part of the wall down again.' 

' They said, they had seen sometimes a very great Devil 
like a Dragon, with fire round about him, and bound with 
an iron chain (Apocalyptic), and the Devil that converses 
with them tells them that if they confess anything he will 
let that great Devil loose upon them, whereby all Sweede- 
land shall come into great danger. 

* They added that the Devil had a church there, such 
another as in the town of Mohra. When the Commis- 
sioners were coming he told the Witches they should not 
fear them ; for he would certainly kill them all And they 
confessed that some of them had attempted to murther 
the Commissioners, but had not been able to effect it 

' Some of the children talked much of a white Angel 
(Frigga as christian tutelary), which used to forbid them 
what the Devil had bid them do, and told them that those 
doings should not last long. What had been done had 
been permitted because of the wickedness of the people. 

* Those of Elfdale confessed that the Devil used to play 
upon an harp before them (Tannhauser), and afterwards 
to go with them that he liked best into a chamber, when 
he committed venerous acts with them (Asmodeus) ; and 
this indeed all confessed, that he had carnal knowledge 
of them, and that the Devil had sons and daughters 



by them, which he did marry together, and they . . • 
brought forth toads and serpents (Echidna). 

' After this they sat down to table, and those that the 
Devil esteemed most were placed nearest to hiip ; but the 
children must stand at the door, where he himself gives 
them meat and drink (Sacrament). After meals they 
went to dancing, and in the meanwhile swore and cursed 
most dreadfully, and afterwards went to fighting one with 
another (Valhalla). 

' They also confessed that the Devil gives them a beast 
about the bigness and shape of a young cat (Hecate), 
which they call a carrier ; and that he gives them a bird 
as big as a raven (Odin's messenger), but white ; ^ and these 
two creatures they can send anywhere, and wherever they 
come they take away all sorts of victuals they can get, 
butter, cheese, milk, bacon, and all sorts of seeds, what- 
ever they find, and carry it to the witch. What the bird 
brings they may keep for themselves, but what the carrier 
brings they must reserve for the Devil, and that is brought 
to Blockula, where he doth give them of it so much as he 
thinks fit. They added likewise that these carriers fill 
themselves so full sometimes, that they are forced to spue 
(' Odin's booty ') by the way, which spuing is found in 
several gardens, where colworts grow, and not far from the 
houses of these witches. It is of a yellow colour like 
gold, and is called butter of witches. 

' The Lords Commissioners were indeed very earnest, 
and took great pains to persuade them to show some of 
their tricks, but to no purpose; for they did all unani- 
mously confess that since they had confessed all, they 
found that all their witchcraft was gone, and that the 

^ The delicacy with which these animals are alluded to rather than directly 
Bamed indicates that they had not lost their formidable character in Elfdale 
so far as to be spoken of rashly. 



Devil at this time appeared to them very terrible, with 
claws on his hands and feet, and with horns on his 
head, a long tail behind, and showed to them a pit burn- 
ing, with a hand put out ; but the Devil did thrust the 
person down again with an iron fork; and suggested to 
the witches that if they continued in their confession, he 
would deal with them in the same manner.' 

The ministers of both Elfdale and Mohra were the chief 
inciters of this investigation, and both testified that they 
had suffered many tortures in the night from the witches. 
One was taken by the throat and so violently used that 
'for some weeks he was not able to speak or perform 
divine service.' 

We have in this narrative the official and clerical state- 
ment, and can never know to what the victims really 
confessed. Blockula seems to be a Swedish edition of 
Blocksberg, of old considered a great resort of witches. 
But we may especially note the epithet by which the 
witches are said to have first appealed to the Devil — Ante- 
cessor. Dr. Horneck has not given us the Swedish term of 
which this is a translation, but we may feel assured that 
it was not a phrase coined by the class among whom 
reputed witches were found. In all probability it was a 
learned phrase of the time for some supposed power which 
preceded and was conquered by Christianity ; and if we 
knew its significance it might supply a clue to the reality 
with which the Commissioners were dealing. There would 
seem to be strong probabilities that in Sweden also, as 
elsewhere, there had been a revival of faith in the old 
religion whose barbaric rites had still survived in a few 
holes and corners where they were practised by night. 
The Antecessor was still present to hold out promises 
where the Successor had broken all that his sponsors had 
made when the populace accepted his baptism. This 


probability is further suggested by the fact that some of 
these uncanny events happened at Elfdale, a name which 
hints at a region of especial sanctity under the old religion, 
and also by the statement that the Devil had a church 
there, a sort of travesty of the village church. About the 
same time we find John Fiene confessing in Scotland that 
the Devil appeared to him in ' white raiment,' and it is 
also testified that John heard * the Devil preach in a kirk 
in the pulpit in the night by candlelight, the candle burn- 
ing blue/^ 

The names used by the Scotch witches are often sugges- 
tive of pagan survivals. Thus in the trial at the Paisley 
Assizes, 1678, concerning the alleged bewitching of Sir 
George Maxwell, Magaret Jackson testified to giving up 
her soul by renouncing her baptism to a devil named Locas 
(Loki ?) ; another raised a tempest to impede the king's 
voyage to Denmark by casting into the sea a cat, and 
crying Hola (Hela ?) ; and Agnes Sampson called the 
Devil to her in the shape of a dog by saying, * Elva (Elf?), 
come and speak to me ! ' 

It is necessary to pass by many of the indications con- 
tained in the witch-trials that there had been an effort to 
recur to the pleasures and powers traditionally associated 
with the pagan era of Europe, and confirmed by the very 
denunciations of contemporary paganism with its pomp 
and luxury by the priesthood. The promises held out by 
the 'Devil' to Elfdale peasants and puritanised Helen 
Fairfax are unmistakable. But it is necessary to remark 
also that the ceremonies by which, as was clearly proved 
in various cases, the fortune-tellers or 'witches' endea- 
voured to imitate the spells of Dr. Faustus were archaeolo- 

Around the cauldron, which was used in imitation of 

^ GlanvU, ' Saducismus Triumphatus,' p. 170. 


the Alchemists, a rude Zodiac was marked, some alchemic 
signs being added ; and in the cauldron were placed ingre- 
dients concerning many of which the accounts are con- 
fused. It is, however, certain that the chief ingredients 
were plants which, precisely as in ancient Egypt, had 
been gathered at certain phases of the moon, or seasons of 
the year, or from some spot where the sun was supposed 
not to have shone on it It was clearly proved also that 
the plants chiefly used by the sorceresses were rue and 
vervain. Vervain was sacred to the god of war in Greece 
and Rome, and made the badge of ambassadors sent to 
make treaties of peace. In Germany it was sacred to 
Thor, and he would not strike with his lightning a house 
protected by it. The Druids called it ' holy herb ; ' they 
gathered it when the dog-star rose, from unsunned spots, 
and compensated the earth for the deprivation with a 
sacrifice of honey. Its reputation was sufficient in Ben 
Jonson's day for him to write — 

Bring your garlands, and with reverence place 
The vervain on the altar. 

The charm which vervain had for the mediaeval peasant 
was that it was believed, if it had first touched a Bel-fire, 
to snap iron ; and, if boiled with rue, made a liquid which, 
being poured on a gunflint, made the shot as sure to take 
effect as any Freischutz could desire. 

Rue was supposed to have a potent effect on the eye, 
and to bestow second sight. So sacred was it once in 
England that missionaries sprinkled holy water from 
brushes made up of it, whence it was called *herb of 
grace.' Milton represents Michael as purging Adam's 
eyes with it. In the Tyrol it is believed to confer fine 
vision and used with agrimony (flowers of Argos, the 
many-eyed) ; in Posen it is said also to heal serpent-bites. 


By this f'oute it came into the cauldron of the wizard and 
-witch. In Drayton's incantation it is said — 

Then sprinkles she the juice of rue, 
With nine drops of the midnight dew 
From lunary distilling. 

This association of lunary, or moon-wort, once supposed 
to cure lunacy, with rue is in harmony with the mythology 
of both. An old oracle, said to have been revealed by 
Hecate herself, ran thus : — ' From a root of wild rue fashion 
and polish a statue ; adorn it with household lizards ; 
grind myrrh, gum, and frankincense with the same reptiles, 
and let the mixture stand in the air during the waning of 
a moon ; then address your vows in the following terms ' 
(the formula is not preserved). 'As many forms as I 
have, so many lizards let there be ; do these things 
exactly; you will build me an abode with branches of 
laurel, and having addressed fervent prayers to the image, 
you will see me in your sleep.' ^ 

Rue was thus consecrated as the very substance of 
Hecate, the mother of all European witches. M. Maury 
supposes that it was because it was a narcotic and caused 
hallucinations. Hallucinations were, no doubt, the basis 
of belief in second sight. But whatever may be the cause, 
rue was the plant of witchcraft ; and Bishop Taylor speaks 
of its being used by exorcists to try the devil, and thence 
deriving its appellation * herb of grace.' More probably 
it was used to sprinkle holy water because of a traditional 

* Porphyry, ap. Euseb. v. 12. The formula not preserved by Ensebius is sup- 
posed by M. Maury (* Magie,' 56) to be that contained in the ' Philosophumena,' 
attributed to Origen : — * Come, infernal, terrestrial, and celestial Bombo I 
goddess of highways, of cross-roads, thou who bearest the light, who travellest 
the night, enemy of the day, friend and companion of darkness; thou re- 
joicing in the baying of dogs and in shed blood, who wanderest amid shadows 
and oyer tombs ; thou who desirest blood and bearest terrors to mortals, — 
Gk>rgo, Mormo, moon of a thousand forms, aid with a propitious eye our 
sacrifices I ' 


sanctity. All narcotics were supposed to be children of 
the night; and if, in addition, they were able to cause 
hallucinations, they were supposed to be under more 
especial care of the moon. 

After reading a large number of reports concerning the 
ordeals and trials of witches, and also many of their alleged 
confessions, I have arrived at the conclusion that there 
were certainly gatherings held in secret places ; that some 
of the ordinary ceremonies and prayers of the Church 
were used, with names of traditional deities and Oriental 
demons substituted for those of the Trinity and saints ; 
that with these were mingled some observances which 
had been preserved from the ancient world by Gnostics, 
Astrologists, and Alchemists. That at these gatherings 
there was sometimes direct devil-worship is probable, but 
oftener the invocations were in other names, and it is for 
the most part due to the legal reporters that the * Devil ' is 
so often named. As to the * confessions,' many, no doubt, 
admitted they had gone to witches' Sabbaths who had 
been there only in feverish dreams, as must have been the 
case of many young children and morbid pietists who were 
executed ; others confessed in hope of escape from charges 
they could not answer ; and others were weary of their 

The writer of this well remembers, in a small Virginian 
village (Falmouth), more than thirty years ago, the terrible 
persecutions to which an old white woman named Nancy 
Calamese was subjected because of her reputation as a 
witch. Rumours of lizards vomited by her poor neigh- 
bours caused her to be dreaded by the ignorant; the 
negroes were in terror of her; she hardly dared pass 
through the streets for fear of being hooted by boys. One 
morning she waded into the Rappahannock river and 
drowned herself, and many of her neighbours regarded the 


suicide as her confession. Probably it was a similar sort 
of confession to many that we read in the reports of witch 

The retribution that followed was more ferocious than 
could have visited mere attempts by the poor and igno- 
rant to call up spirits to their aid. Every now and then 
the prosecutions disclose the well-known animus of heresy, 
persecution, and also the fury of magistrates suspicious of 
conspiracies. In England, New England, and France, 
particularly, an incipient rationalism was revealed in the 
party called ' Saducees,' who tried to cast discredit on the 
belief in witchcraft. This was recognised by Sir Mathew 
Hale in England and Cotton Mather in New England, 
consequently by the chief authorities of church and state 
in both countries, as an attack on biblical infallibility, 
since it was said in the Bible, * Thou shalt not suffer a 
witch to live.' The leading wizards and witches were 
probably also persons who had been known in connection 
with the popular discontent and revolutionary feeling 
displayed in so many of the vindictive conjurations which 
were brought to light. 

The horrors which attended the crushing out of this 
last revival of paganism are such as recall the Bartholomew 
massacre and the recent slaughter of Communists in Paris, 
so vividly that one can hardly repress the suspicion that 
the same sort of mingled panic and fanaticism were repre- 
sented in them all. Dr. R6ville has summed up the fear- 
ful history of three hundred years as follows : — * In the 
single year 1485, and in the district of Worms alone, 
eighty-five witches were delivered to the flames. At 
Geneva, at Basle, at Hamburg, at Ratisbon, at Vienna, 
and in a multitude of other towns, there were executions 
of the same kind. At Hamburg, among other victims, a 
physician was burnt alive, because he saved the life of a 


woman who had been given up by the midwife. In Italy, 
during the year 1523, there were burnt in the diocese of 
Como alone more than two hundred witches. This was 
after the new bull hurled at witchcraft by Pope Adrian 
VI. In Spain it was still worse ; there, in 1527, two little 
girls, of from nine to eleven years of age, denounced a 
host of witches, whom they pretended to detect by a 
mark in their left eye. In England and Scotland political 
influence was brought to bear upon sorcery ; Mary Stuart 
was animated by a lively zeal against witches. In France 
the Parliament of Paris happily removed business of this 
kind from the ecclesiastical tribunals ; and under Louis 
XL, Charles VIII., and Louis XII. there were but few 
condemnations for the practice of magic ; but from the 
time of Francis I., and especially from Henry II., the 
scourge reappeared. Jean Bodin, a man of sterling worth 
in other respects, but stark mad upon the question of 
witchcraft, communicated his mania to all classes of the 
nation. His contemporary and disciple, Boguet, showed 
how that France swarmed with witches and wizards. 
* They increase and multiply on the land,' said he, * even 
as do the caterpillars in our gardens. Would that they 
were all got together in a heap, so that a single fire 
might burn them all at once.' Savoy, Flanders, the Jura 
Mountains, Lorraine, Bdarn, Provence, and in almost 
all parts of France, the frightful hecatombs were seen 
ablaze. In the seventeenth century the witch-fever some- 
what abated, though it burst out here and there, cen- 
tralising itself chiefly in the convents of hysterical nuns. 
The terrible histories of the priests Gaufridy and Urban 
Grandier are well known. In Germany, and particularly 
in its southern parts, witch-burning was still more fre- 
quent. In one small principality at least 242 persons 
were burnt between 1646 and 165 1 ; and, horribile dictu, in 


the official records of these executions, we find that among 
those who suffered were children from one to six years of 
age! In 1657 the witch-judge, Nicholas Remy, boasted 
of having burnt 900. persons in fifteen years. It would 
even seem that it is to the proceedings against sorcery' 
that Germany owes the introduction of torture as an 
ordinary mode of getting at the truth. Mr.' Roskoff 
reproduces a catalogue of the executions of witches and 
wizards in the episcopal town of Wiirzburg, in Bavaria, 
up to the year 1629. In 1659 the number of those put 
to death for witchcraft amounted, in this diocese, to 900. 
In the neighbouring bishopric of Bamberg at least 600 
were burnt. He enumerates thirty-one executions in all, 
not counting some regarded by the compilers of the cata- 
logue as not important enough to mention. The number 
of victims at each execution varies from two to seven. 
Many are distinguished by such surnames as 'The Big 
Hunchback, The Sweetheart, The Bridge-keeper, The 
Old Pork-woman,' &c. Among them appear people of 
all sorts and conditions, actors, workmen, jugglers, town 
and village maidens, rich burghers, nobles, students, 
magistrates even, and a fair number of priests. Many 
are simply entered as *a foreigner.' Here and there is 
added to the name of the condemned person his age and 
a short notice. Among the victims, for instance, of the 
twentieth execution figures * Little Barbara, the prettiest 
girl in Wiirzburg ;' ' a student who could speak all manner 
of languages, who was an excellent musician, vocaliter 
et instrumentaliter ; ' * the master- of the hospice, a very 
learned man/ We find, too, in this gloomy account the 
cruel record of children burnt for witchcraft ; here a little 
girl of about nine or ten years of age, with her baby sister, 
younger than herself (their mother was burnt a little while 
afterwards) ; here boys of ten or eleven ; again, a young 


girl of fifteen ; two children from the poorhouse; the little 
boy of a councillor. The pen falls from one's hand in 
recapitulating such monstrosities. Cannot those who 
would endow Catholicity with the dogma of papal infalli- 
bility hearken, before giving their vote, to the cries that 
rise before God, and which history re-echoes, of those 
poor innocent ones whom pontifical bulls threw into 
flames ? The seventeenth century saw the rapid diminu- 
tion of trials and tortures. In one of his good moments, 
Louis XIV. mitigated greatly the severity of this special 
legislation. For this he had to undergo the remonstrances 
of the Parliament of Rouen, which believed society would 
be ruined if those who dealt in sorcery were merely con- 
demned to perpetual confinement. The truth is, that 
belief in witchcraft was so wide-spread, that from time to 
time even throughout the seventeenth century there were 
isolated executions. One of the latest and most notorious 
was that of Renata Saenger, superior of the convent of 
Unterzell, near Wiirzburg (1748). At Landshut, in Bavaria, 
in 1756, a young girl of thirteen years was convicted of 
impure intercourse with the Devil, and put to death. Seville 
in 178 1, and Claris in 1783, saw the last two known 
victims to this fatal superstition.*^ 

The Reformation swept away in Northern countries, for 
the upper classes, as many christian saints and angels as 
priestcraft had previously turned to enemies for the lower. 
The poor and ignorant simply tried to evoke the same ideal 
spirit-guardians under the pagan forms legendarily asso- 
ciated with a golden age. Witchcraft was a pathetic appeal 
against a cruel present to a fair, however visionary, past. 
But Protestantism has brought on famine of another kind 
— famine of the heart. The saints of the Church have 
followed those of paganism ; and although one result of 

^ 'The Devil,* Ac, p. 51. 


the process has been a vast increase in enterprise, science, 
and wealth, man cannot live by these alone. Modern 
spiritualisip, which so many treat with a superciliousness 
little creditable to a scientific age, is a cry of starved senti- 
ment and affections left hopeless under faded heavens, 
as full of pathetic meaning as that which was wrung from 
serfs enticed into temples only to find them dens of thieves. 
Desolate hearts take up the burthen of desolate homes, 
and appeal to invisible powers for guidance; and for attes- 
tation of hopes which science has blighted, ere poetry, art, 
and philanthropy have changed these ashes into beauty. 
Because these so-called spirits, evoked by mediums out 
of morbid nerves, are really longed-for ideals, the darker 
features of witchcraft are not called about them. That 
fearful movement was a wronged Medea whose sorrows 
had made Hecate — to remember the dreadful phrase of 
Euripides — ^*the chosen assistant dwelling in the inmost 
recesses of her house.' Modern spiritualism is Rachel 
weeping for her children, not to be comforted if they are 
not. But the madness of the one is to be understood by 
the plaintive appeal of the other. 

( 332 ) 



Mephisto and Mephitis — The Raven Book— Papal sorcery — Magic 
seals — Mephistopheles as dog — Geoige Sabellicus alias Faustus 
— The Faust myth — Marlowe's Faust — Good and evil angels — 
El Magico Prodigioso — Cyprian and Justina — Klinger's Faust — 
Satan's sermon — Goethe's Mephistopheles — His German charac- 
ters — Moral scepticism — Devil's gifts — Helena — Redemption 
through Art — Defeat of Mephistopheles. 

The name Mephistopheles has in it, I think, the priest's 
shudder at the fumes of the laboratory. Duntzer^ finds 
that the original form of the word was * Mephostophiles/ 
and conjectures that it was a bungling effort to put 
together three Greek words, to mean ' not loving the 
light.' In this he has the support of Bayard Taylor, who 
also thinks that it was so understood by Goethe. The 
transformation of it was probably amid the dreaded gases 
with which the primitive chemist surrounded himself. He 
who began by * not loving the light ' became the familiar 
of men seeking h'ght, and lover of their mephitic gases. 
The ancient Romans had a mysterious divinity called 
Mephitis, whose grove and temple were in the Esquilix, 
near a place it was thought fatal to enter. She is thought . 
to have been invoked against the mephitic exhalations of 
the earth in the grove of Albunea. Sulphur springs also 

1 Scheible's ' Kloster,' 5, 116. Zauberbucher. 


were of old regarded as ebullitions from hell, and both 
Schwarz and Roger Bacon particularly dealt in that kind 
of smell. Considering how largely Asmodeus, as 'fine 
gentleman/ entered into the composition of Mephisto- 
pheles, and how he flew from Nineveh to Egypt (Tobit) to 
avoid a bad smell, it seems the irony of mythology that 
he should turn up in Europe as a mephitic spirit. 

Mephistopheles is the embodiment of all that has been 
said in preceding chapters of the ascetic's horror of nature 
and the pride of life, and of the mediaeval priest's curse on 
all learning he could not monopolise. The Faust myth is 
merely his shadow cast on the earth, the tracery of his ter- 
rible power as the Church would have the people dread it. 
The early Raven Book at Dresden has the title : — * t t t 
D. J. Fausti t t t Dreifacher Hollen-Zwung und Ma- 
gische (Geister-Commando) nebst den schwarzen Raaben. 
Romae ad Arcanum Pontificatus unter Papst Alexander 
Vl. gedruckt Anno (Christi) MDI.' . In proof of which 
claim there is a Preface purporting to be a proclamation 
signed by the said Pope and Cardinal Piccolomini con- 
cerning the secrets which the celebrated Dr. Faust had 
scattered throughout Germany, commanding ut ad Arca- 
num Pontificatus mandentur et sicutpupilla oculi in archivio 
Nostra serventur et custodiantur^ atque extra Valvas Vati- 
canas non imprimantur neque inde transportentur. Si vero 
quiscunqiu tetnere contra agere aususfuerit^ DiVlNAM mate- 
dictionem lata sententicB ipso facto servatis Nobis Solis reser-^ 
vandis se incursurum sciat. Ita mandamus et constituemus 
Virtute Aposto'licce EcclesuB Jesu Christi sub posna Ex-- 
communicationis ut supra. Anno secufido Vicariatus Nostri. 
Romce Verbi incamati Anno M,DJ, 

This is an impudent forgery, but it is an invention 
which, more than anything actually issued from Rome, 
indicates the popular understanding that the contention of 


the Church was not against the validity of magic arts, but 
against their exercise by persons not authorised by itself. 
It was, indeed, a tradition not combated by the priests, 
that various ecclesiastics had possessed such powers, even 
Popes, as John XXIL, Gregory VIL, and Clement V. 
The first Sylvester was said to have a dragon at his com- 
mand ; John XXII. denounced his physicians and courtiers 
for necromancy ; and the whispers connecting the Vatican 
with sorcery lasted long enough to attribute to the late 
Pius IX. a power of the evil eye. Such awful potencies 
the Church wished to be ascribed to itself alone. Faust 
is a legend invented to impress on the popular mind the 
fate of all who sought knowledge in unauthorised ways 
and for non-ecclesiastical ends. 

In the Raven Book just mentioned, there are provisions 
for calling up spirits which, in their blending of christian 
with pagan formulas, oddly resemble the solemn proceed- 
ings sometimes affected by our spiritual mediums. The 
magician {Magister) had best be alone, but if others are 
present, their number must be odd ; he should deliberate 
beforehand what business he wishes to transact with the 
spirits; he must observe God's commandment; trust the 
Almighty's help; continue his conjuration, though the 
spirits do not appear quickly, with unwavering faith ; 
mark a circle on parchment with a dove's blood ; within 
this circle write in Latin the names of the four quarters of 
heaven ; write around it the Hebrew letters of God's name, 
and beneath it write Sadan; and standing in this circle he 
must repeat the ninety-first Psalm. In addition there are 
seals in red and black, various Hebrew, Greek, and Latin 
words, chiefly such as contain the letters Q, W, X, Y, Z, — 
e,g,^ Yschyros, Theos, Zebaoth,. Adonay. The specimen 
(Fig. 22), which I copied from the book in Dresden, is 
there called * Sigillum Telschunhab.* The * Black Raven ' 



is pictured in the book, and explained as the form in 
which the angel Raphael taught Tobias to summon 
spirits. It is said also that 
the Magician must in cer- 
tain cases write with blood 
of a fish (Tobit again) or 
bat on ' maiden-parchment/ 


— this being explained as Fig. aa.-SBAL from Ravbn book. 
the skin of a goat, but unpleasantly suggestive of a dif- 
ferent origin. 

In this book, poorly printed, and apparently on a private 
press, Mephistopheles is mentioned as one of the chiei 
Princes of Hell. He is described as a youth, adept in all 
arts and services, who brings spirit-servants or familiars, 
and brings treasures from earth and sea with speed. In 
the Frankfort Faust Book (1587), Mephistopheles says, 'I 
am a spirit, and a flying spirit, potently ruling under the 
heavens.' In the oldest legends he appears as a dog, that, 
as we have seen, being the normal form of tutelary divini- 
ties, the symbol of the Scribe in Egypt, guard of Hades, 
and psychopomp of various mythologies. A dog appears 
following the family of Tobias. Manlius reports Melanc- 
thon as saying, ' He (Faust) had a dog with him, which 
was the Devil.* Johann Gast (* Sermones Conviviales ') 
says he was present at a dinner at Basle given by Faust, 
and adds : ' He had also a dog and a horse with him, 
both of which, I believe, were devils, for they were able to 
do everything. Some persons told me that the dog fre- 
quently took the shape of a servant, and brought him 
food.* In the old legends this dog is named Praesiigiar} 

As for the man Faust, he seems to have been personally 
the very figure which the Church required, and had the 

^ Bayard Taylor's ' Faust,* note 45. See also his Appendix I. for an excel- 
lent condensation of the Faust legend from the best German sources. 


friar, in whose guise Mephistopheles appears, been his 
actual familiar, he could hardly have done more to bring 
learning into disgrace. Born at the latter part of the 
fifteenth century at Knittlingen, Wurtemberg, of poor 
parents, the bequest of an uncle enabled him to study 
medicine at Cracow University, and it seems plain that he 
devoted his learning and abilities to the work of deluding 
the public. That he made money by his * mediumship/ 
one can only infer from the activity with which he went 
about Germany and advertised his ' powers.* It was at a 
time when high prices were paid for charms, philtres, 
mandrake mannikins ; and the witchcraft excitement was 
not yet advanced enough to render dealing in such things 
perilous. It seems that the Catholic clergy made haste 
to use this impostor to point their moral against learning, 
and to identify him as first-fruit of the Reformation ; while 
the Reformers, with equal zeal, hurled him back upon the 
papists as outcome of their idolatries. Melancthon calls 
him *an abominable beast, a sewer of many devils.* The 
first mention of him is by Trithemius in a letter of August 
20, 1507, who speaks of him as *a pretender to magic' 
(* Magister Georgius Sabellicus, Faustus Junior *), whom he 
met at Gelnhaussen ; and in another letter of the same 
year as at Kreuznach, Conrad Mudt, friend of Luther and 
Melancthon, mentions (Oct. 3, 1513) the visit to Erfurth 
of Georgius Faustus Hemitheus Hedebeyensis, *a braggart 
and a fool who affects magic,' whom he had ' heard talk- 
ing in a tavern,' and who had ' raised theologians against 
him.* In Vogel's Annals of Leipzig (1714), kept in Auer- 
bach's Cellar, is recorded under date 1525 Dr. Johann 
Faust's visit to the Cellar. He appears therefore to have 
already had aliases. The first clear account of him is in 
the 'Index Sanitatis' of Dr. Philip Begardi (1539), who 
says : ' Since several years he has gone through all regions, 


provinces, and kingdoms, made his name known to every- 
body, and is highly renowned for his great skill, not alone 
in medicine, but also in chiromancy, necromancy, phy- 
siognomy, visions in crystal, and the like other arts. And 
also not only renowned, but written down and known as 
an experienced master. Himself admitted, nor denied 
that it was so, and that his name was Faustus, and called 
himstM philosopkum phiiosophorunt. But how many have 
complained to me that they were deceived by him — ^verily 
a great number ! But what matter ? — hin ist hin' 

These latter words may mean that Faust had just died. 
He must have died about that time, and with little notice. 
The rapidity with which a mythology began to grow 
around him is worthy of more attention than the subject 
has received. In 1543 the protestant theologian Johann 
Gast has (' Sermones Convivialium') stories of his diabolical 
dog and horse, and of the Devil's taking him off, when 
his body turns itself five times face downward. In 1587 
Philip Camerarius speaks of him as ' a well-known magican 
who lived in the time of our fathers.' April 18, 1587, two 
students of the University of Tubingen were imprisoned 
for writing a Comedy of Dr. Faustus : though it was not 
permitted to make light of the story, it was thought a very 
proper one to utilise for pious purposes, and in the autumn 
of the sajne year (1587) the original form of the legend 
was published by Spiess in Frankfort. It describes Faust 
as summoning the Devil at night, in a forest near Witten- 
berg. The evil spirit visits him on three occasions in his 
study, where on the third he gives his name as * Mephosto- 
philes/ and the compact to serve him for twenty-four 
years for his soul is signed. When Faust pierces his hand, 
the blood flows into the form of the words O homo fuge ! 
Mephistopheles first serves him as a monk, and brings him 
fine garments, wine, and food. Many of the luxuries are 



brought from the mansions of prelates, which shows the 
protestant bias of the book ; which is also shown in the 
objection the Devil makes to Faust's marrying, because 
marriage is pleasing to God. Mephistopheles changes 
himself to a winged horse, on which Faust is borne through 
many countries, arriving at last at Rome. Faust passes 
three days, invisible, in the Vatican, which supplies the 
author with another opportunity to display papal luxury, 
as well as the impotence of the Pope and his cardinals to 
exorcise the evil powers which take their food and goblets 
when they are about to feast. On his further aerial voyages 
Faust gets a glimpse of the garden of Eden ; lives in state 
in the Sultan's palace in the form of Mohammed ; and at 
length becomes a favourite in the Court of Charles V. at 
Innsbruck. Here he evokes Alexander the Great and 
his wife. In roaming about Germany, Faust diverts him- 
self by swallowing a load of hay and horses, cutting off 
heads and replacing them, making flowers bloom at 
Christmas, drawing wine from a table, and calling Helen 
of Troy to appear to some students. Helen becomes his 
mistress; by her he has a son, Justus Faustus; but these 
disappear simultaneously with the dreadful end of Dr. 
Faustus, who after a midnight storm is found only in the 
fragments with which his room is strewn. 

Several of these legends are modifications of those 
current before Faust's time. The book had such an 
immense success that new volumes and versions on the 
same subject appeared not only in Germany but in other 
parts of Europe, — a rhymed version in England, 1588; 
a translation from the German in France, 1589; a 
Dutch translation, 1592 ; Christopher Marlowe's drama 
in 1604. 

In Marlowe's 'Tragical History of Doctor Faustus,' the 
mass of legends of occult arts that had crystallised around 


a man thoroughly representative of them was treated with 
the dignity due to a subject amid whose moral and historic 
grandeur Faust is no longer the petty personality he really 
was. He is precisely the character which the Church had 
been creating for a thousand years, only suddenly changed 
from other-worldly to worldly desires and aims. What 
he seeks is what all the energy of civilisation seeks. 

Evil Angel. Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art 
Wherein all Nature's treasure is contained : 
Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky, 
Lord and commander of these elements. 

Faust. How am I glutted with conceit of this ! 
Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please, 
Resolve me of all ambiguities,) 
Perform what desperate enterprise I will ? 
I'll have them fly to India for gold, 
Ransack the ocean for orient pearl, 
And search all corners of the new-found world 
For pleasant fruits and princely delicates ; 
I'll have them read me strange philosophy. 
And tell the secrets of all foreign kings ; 
I'll have them wall all Germany with brass, 
And make swift Rhine circle fair Wertenberg ; 
I'll have them fill the public schools with silk. 
Wherewith the students shall be bravely clad. 

For this he is willing to pay his soul, which Theology 
has so long declared to be the price of mastering the 

This word damnation terrifies not him, 
For he confounds hell in Elysium : 
His ghost be with the old philosophers ! 

The * Good Angel ' warns him : 

O Faustus, lay that damned book aside. 
And gaze not on it, lest it tempt thy soul, 
And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head ! 
Read, read the Scriptures : — that is blasphemy. 

So, dying away amid the thunders of the Reformation, 


were heard the echoes of the early christian voices which ex- 
ulted in the eternal tortures of the Greek poets and philo- 
sophers : the anathemas on Roger Bacon, Socinus, Galileo ; 
the outcries with which every great invention has been 
met. We need only retouch the above extracts here and 
there to make Faust's aspirations those of a saint Let 
the gold be sought in New Jerusalem, the pearl in its 
gates, the fruits in paradise, the philosophy that of 
Athanasius, and no amount of selfish hunger and thirst 
for them would grieve any 'Good Angel' he had ever 
heard of. 

The ' Good Angel ' has not yet gained his wings who 
will tell him that all he seeks is included in the task of 
humanity, but warn him that the method by which he 
would gain it is just that by which he has been instructed 
to seek gold and jasper of the New Jerusalen, — not by 
fulfilling the conditions of them, but as the object of some 
favouritism. Every human being who ever sought to 
obtain benefit by prayers or praises that might win the 
good graces of a supposed bestower of benefits, instead of 
by working for them, is but the Faust of his side — be it 
supernal or infernal. Hocus-pocus and invocation, blood- 
compacts and sacraments, — they are all the same in origin ; 
they are all mean attempts to obtain advantages beyond 
other people without serving up to them or deserving them. 
To Beelzebub Faust will * build an altar and a church ; ' 
but he had probably never entered a church or knelt 
before an altar with any less selfishness. 

A strong Nemesis follows Self to see that its bounds 
are not overpassed without retribution. Its satisfactions 
must be weighed in the balance with its renunciations. And 
the inflexible law applies to intellect and self-culture as 
much as to any other power of man. Mephistopheles is * the 
kernel of the brute ; ' he is the intellect with mere canine 


hunger for knowledge because of the power it brings. 
Or, falling on another part of human nature, it is pride 
making itself abject for ostentation ; or it is passion selling 
love for lust. Re-enter Mephistopheles with Devils, who give 
crowns and rich apparel to FaustuSy dance^ and tften depart. 
To the man who has received his intellectual and moral 
liberty only to so spend it, Lucifer may well say, in 
Marlowe's words — 

Christ cannot save thy soul, for he is just : 
There's none but I have interest in the same. 

Perhaps he might even better have suggested to Faust 
that his soul was not of sufficient significance to warrant 
much anxiety. 

Something was gained when it was brought before the 
people in popular dramas of Faust how little the Devil 
cared for the cross which had so long been regarded as the 
all-sufficient weapon against him/ Faust and Mephisto- 
pheles flourish in the Vatican despite all the crosses raised 
to exorcise them. The confession of the cross which once 
meant martyrdom of the confessor had now come to mean 
martyrdom of the denier. Protestantism put its faith in 
Theology, Creeds, and Orthodoxy. But Calderon de la 
Barca blended the legend of Faust with the legendary 
temptation of St. Cyprian, and in ' El Magico Prodigioso ' 
we have, in impressive contrast, the powerlessness of the 
evil powers over the heart of a pure woman, and its easy 
entrance into a mind fully furnished with the soundest 
sentiments of theology. St. Cyprian had been a wor- 
shipper of pagan deities ^ before his conversion, and even 
after this he had once saved himself while other christians 

* TertuU. ad Marcion, iii. 18. S. Ignatii Episc. et Martyr ad Phil. Ep. 
viii. * The Prince of this world rejoices when any one denies the cross, for he 
knows the confession of the cross to be his ruin.' 

' See his * Acta,' by Simeon Metaphrastus. 


were suffering martyrdom. It is possible that out of this 
may have grown the legend of his having called his earlier 
deities — theoretically changed to devils — ^to his aid ; a 
trace of the legend being that magical * Book of Cypri- 
anus * mentioned in another chapter. In his tract * De 
Gratia Dei * Cyprian says concerning his spiritual con- 
dition before conversion, * I lay in darkness, and floating 
on the world's boisterous sea, with no resting-place for my 
feet, ignorant of my proper life, and estranged from truth 
and light.* Here is a metaphorical * vasty deep' from 
which the centuries could hardly fail to conjure up spirits, 
one of them being the devil of Calderon's drama, who from 
a wrecked ship walks Christ-like over the boisterous sea to 
find Cyprian on the sea-shore. The drama opens with a 
scene which recalls the most perilous of St. Anthony's 
temptations. According to Athanasius, the Devil having 
utterly failed to conquer Anthony's virtue by charming 
images, came to him in his proper black and ugly shape, 
and, candidly confessing that he was the Devil, said he 
had been vanquished by the saint's extraordinary sanctity. 
Anthony prevailed against the spirit of pride thus 
awakened ; but Calderon's Cyprian, though he does 
not similarly recognise the Devil, becomes complacent at 
the dialectical victory which the tempter concedes him. 
Cyprian having argued the existence and supremacy of 
God, the Devil says, * How can I impugn so clear a con- 
sequence ? ' * Do you regret my victory ? * * Who but 
regrets a check in rivalry of wit ?' He leaves, and Cyprian 
says, * I never met a more learned person.' The Devil is 
equally satisfied, knowing, no doubt, that gods worked out 
by the; wits alone remain in their abode of abstraction 
and do not interfere with the world of sense. Calderon is 
artful enough to throw the trial of Cyprian back into 
his pagan period, but the mirror is no less true in reflect- 


ing for those who had eyes to see in it the weakness of 

' Enter the Devil as a fine gentleman/ is the first sign 
of the temptation in Calderon's drama — it is Asmodeus^ 
again, and the * pride of life ' he first brings is the conceit 
of a clever theological victory. So sufficient is the door- 
way so made for all other pride to enter, that next time 
the devil needs no disguise, but has only to offer him a 
painless victory over nature and the world, including 
Justina, the object of his passion. 

Wouldst thou that I work 
A charm over this waste and savage wood, 
This Babylon of crags and aged treeSf 
Filling its coverts with a horror 
Thrilling and strange ? . . . 

I offer thee the fruit 
Of years of toil in recompense ; whatever 
Ihy wildest dream presented to thy thought 
As object of desire, shall be thine.' 

Justina knows less about the philosophical god of 
Cyprian, and more of the might of a chaste heart. To 
the Devil she says — 

Thought is not in my power, but action is : 
I will not move my foot to follow thee. 

The Devil is compelled to say at last — 

Woman, thou hast subdued me, 
Only by not owning thyself subdued. 

He is only able to bring a counterfeit of Justina to her 

Like Goethe's Mephistopheles, Cyprian's devil is unable 
to perform his exact engagements, and consequently does 

^ I have been much struck by the resemblance between the dumpy monkish 
dwarf, in the old wall-picture of Auerbach's Cellar, meant for Mephistopheles, 
and the portrait of Asmodeus in the early editions of * Le Diable Boiteux.* 
But, as devils went in those days, they are good-looking enough. 

' Shelley's Translation. 

344 KimGER'S FA UST. 

not win in the game. He enables Cyprian to move moun- 
tains and conquer beasts, until he boasts that he can 
excel his infernal teacher, but the Devil cannot bring 
Justina. She has told Cyprian that she will love him in 
death. Cyprian and she together abjure their paganism 
at Antioch, and meet in a cell just before their martyr- 
dom. Over their bodies lying dead on the scaffold the 
Devil appears as a winged serpent, and says he is com- 
pelled to announce that they have both ascended to 
heaven. He descends into the earth. 

What the story of Faust and Mephistopheles had 
become in the popular mind of Germany, when Goetlie 
was raising it to be an immortal type of the conditions 
under which genius and art can alone fulfil their task, 
is well shown in the sensational tragedy written by his 
contemporary, the playwright Klinger. The following 
extract from Klinger*s * Faust' is not without a certain 

* Night covered the earth with its raven wing. Faust 
stood before the awful spectacle of the body of his son 
suspended upon the gallows. Madness parched his brain, 
and he exclaimed in the wild tones of dispair : 

* Satan, let me but bury this unfortunate being, and 
then you may take this life of mine, and I will descend 
into your infernal abode, where I shall no more behold 
men in the flesh. I have learned to know them, and I 
am disgusted with them, with their destiny, with the 
world, and with life. My good action has drawn down 
unutterable woe upon my head ; I hope that my evil ones 
may have been productive of good. Thus should it be in 
the mad confusion of earth. Take me hence ; I wish to 
become an inhabitant of thy dreary abode; I am tired of 
light, compared with which the darkness in the infernal 
regions must be the brightness of mid-day/ 


But Satan replied : ' Hold I not so fast — Faust ; once I 
told thee that thou alone shouldst be the arl^iter of thy 
life, that thou alone shouldst have power to break the 
hour-glass of thy existence ; thou hast done so, and the 
hpur of my vengeance has come, the hour for which I 
have sighed so long. Here now do I tear from thee thy 
mighty wizard-wand, and chain thee within the narrow 
bounds which I draw around thee. Here shalt thou stand 
and listen to me, and tremble ; I will draw forth the terrors 
of the dark past, and kill thee with slow despair. 

' Thus will I exult over thee, and rejoice in my victory. 
Fool ! thou hast said that thou hast learned to know man ! 
Where } How and when ? Hast thou ever considered 
his nature ? Hast thou ever examined it, and separated 
from it its foreign elements.^ Hast thou distinguished 
between that which is offspring of the pure impulses of 
his heart, and that which flows from an imagination 
corrupted by art.? Hast thou compared the wants and 
the vices of his nature with those which he owes to society 
and prevailing corruption } Hast thou observed him in 
his natural state, where each of his undisguised expres- 
sions mirrors forth his inmost soul ? No — thou hast 
looked upon the mask that society wears, and hast mis- 
taken it for the true lineaments of man ; thou hast only 
become acquainted with men who have consecrated their 
condition, wealth, power, and talents to the service of 
corruption ; who have sacrificed their pure nature to your 
Idol — Illusion. Thou didst at one time presume to show 
me the moral worth of man I and how didst thou set 
about it! By leading me upon the broad highways of 
vice, by bringing me to the courts of the mighty whole- 
sale butchers of men, to that of the coward tyrant of 
France, of the Usurper in England ! Why did we pass 
by the mansions of the good and the just ? Was it for 


me, Satan, to whom thou hast chosen to become a men- 
tor, to point them out to thee ? No ; thou wert led to 
the places thou didst haunt by the fame of princes, by 
thy pride, by thy longing after dissipation. And what 
hast thou seen there ? The soul-seared tyrants of man- 
kind, with their satellites, wicked women and mercenary 
priests, who make religion a tool by which to gain the 
object of their base passions. 

* Hast thou ever deigned to cast a glance at the oppressed, 
who, sighing under his burden, consoles himself with 
the hope of an hereafter ? Hast thou ever sought for the 
dwelling of the virtuous friend of humanity, for that of the 
noble sage, for that of the active and upright father of a 
family ? 

* But how would that have beqn possible ? How couldst 
thou, the most corrupt of thy race, have discovered the 
pure one, since thou hadst not even the capacity to sus- 
pect his existence ? 

' Proudly didst thou pass by the cottages of the pure 
and humble, who live unacquainted with even the names 
of your artificial vices, who earn their bread in the sweat 
of their brow, and who rejoice at their last hour that they 
are permitted to exchange the mortal for the immortal. 
It is true, hadst thou entered their abode, thou mightst 
not have found thy foolish ideal of an heroic, extravagant 
virtue, which is only the fanciful creation of your vices 
and your pride ; but thou wouldst have seen the man of 
a retiring modesty and noble resignation, who in his 
obscurity excels in virtue and true grandeur of soul your 
boasted heroes of field and cabinet. Thou sayest that 
thou knowest man! Dost thou know thyself? Nay, 
deeper yet will I enter into the secret places of thy heart, 
and fan with fierce blast the fiames which thou hast 
kindled there for thee. 


* Had I a thousand human tongues, and as many years 
to speak to thee, they would be all insufficient to develop 
the consequences of thy deeds and thy recklessness. The 
germ of wretchedness which thou hast sown will continue 
its growth through centuries yet to come; and future 
generations will curse thee as the author of their misery. 

* Behold, then, daring and reckless man, the importance 
of actions that appear circumscribed to your mole vision ! 
Who of you can say, Time will obliterate the trace of 
my existence ! Thou who knowest not what beginning, 
what middle, and end are, hast dared to seize with a bold 
hand the chain of fate, and hast attempted to gnaw its 
links, notwithstanding that they were forged for eternity ! 

* But now will I withdraw the veil from before thy eyes, 
and then — cast the spectre despair into thy soul.' 

' Faust pressed his hands upon his face ; the worm that 
never dieth gnawed already on his heart.' 

The essence and sum of every devil are in the Mephis- 
topheles of Goethe. He is culture. 

Culture, which smooth the whole world licks. 
Also unto the Devil sticks. 

He represents the intelligence which has learned the 
difference between ideas and words, knows that two and 
two make four, and also how convenient may be the 
dexterity that can neatly write them out five. 

Of Metaphysics learn the use and beauty ! 

See that you most profoundly gain 

What does not suit the human brain ! 

A splendid word to serve, you'll find 

For what goes in —or won't go in — your mind. 

• ••••• 

On words let your attention centre ! 
Then through the safest gate you'll enter 
The temple halls of certainty.^ 

^ Bayard Taylor's Translation. Scene iv. 


He knows, too, that the existing moment alone is of any 
advantage ; that theory is grey and life ever green ; that 
he only gathers real fruit who confides in himself. He is 
thus the perfectly evolved intellect of man, fully in posses- 
sion of all its implements, these polished till they shine in 
all grace, subtlety, adequacy. Nature shows no symbol 
of such power more complete than the gemmed serpent 
with its exquisite adaptations, — freed from cumbersome 
prosaic feet, equal to the winged by its flexible spine, 
every tooth artistic. 

From an ancient prison was this Ariel liberated by his 
Prospero, whose wand was the Reformation, a spirit finely 
touched to fine issues. But his wings cannot fly beyond 
the atmosphere. The ancient heaven has faded before 
the clearer eye, but the starry ideals have come nearer. 
The old hells have burnt out, but the animalism of man 
couches all the more freely on his path, having broken 
every chain of fear. Man still walks between the good 
and evil, on the hair-drawn bridge of his moral nature. 
His faculties seem adapted with equal precision to either 
side of his life, upper or under, — to Wisdom or Cunning, 
Self-respect or Self-conceit, Prudence or Selfishness, Lust 
or Love. 

Such is the seeming situation, but is it the reality ? 
Goethe's 'Faust' is the one clear answer which this ques- 
tion has received. 

In one sense Mephistopheles may be called a German 
devil. The christian soul of Germany was from the first 
a changeling. The ancient Nature-worship of that race 
might have had its normal development in the sciences, 
and along with this intellectual evolution there must have 
been formed a related religion able to preserve social 
order through the honour of man. But the native soul 
of Germany was cut out by the sword and replaced with 


a mongrel Hebrew-Latin soul. The metaphorical terrors 
of tropical countries, — ^the deadly worms, the burning 
and suffocating blasts and stenches, with which the mind 
of those dwelling near them could familiarise itself when 
met with in their scriptures, acquired exaggerated horrors 
when left to be pictured by the terrorised imagination of 
races ignorant of their origin. It is a long distance from 
Potsdam and Hyde Park to Zahara. Christianity there- 
fore blighted nature in the north by apparitions more 
fearful than the southern world ever knew, and long after 
the pious there could sing and dance, puritanical glooms 
hung over the christians of higher latitudes. When the 
progress of German culture began the work of dissipating 
these idle terrors, the severity of the reaction was pro- 
portioned to the intensity of the delusions. The long- 
famished faculties rushed almost madly into their beautiful 
world, but without the old reverence which had once 
knelt before its phenomena. That may remain with a 
few, but the cynicism of the noisiest will be reflected even 
upon the faces of the best. Goethe first had his attention 
drawn to Spinoza by a portrait of him on a tract, in which 
his really noble countenance was represented with a dia- 
bolical aspect. The orthodox had made it, but they could 
only have done so by the careers of Faust, Paracelsus, and 
their tribe. These too helped to conventionalise Voltaire 
into a Mephistopheles.^ 

Goethe was probably the first European man to carry 
out this scepticism to its full results. He was the first 
who recognised that the moral edifice based upon monastic 
theories must follow them ; and he had in his own life 
already questioned the right of the so-called morality to its 

^ See Lavater*8 Physiognomy, Plates xix. and xx., in which some artist 
has shown what variations can be made to order on an intellectual and bene- 
volent face. 


supreme if not tyrannous authority over man. Hereditary 
conscience, passing through this fierce crucible, lay levi- 
gable before Goethe, to be swept away into dust-hole or 
moulded into the image of reason. There remained 
around the animal nature of a free man only a thread 
which seemed as fine as that which held the monster 
Fenris. It was made only of the sentiment of love and 
that of honour. But as Fenris found the soft invisible 
thread stronger than chains, Faust proved the tremendous 
sanctions that surround the finer instincts of man. 

Emancipated from grey theory, Faust rushes hungrily 
at the golden fruit of life. The starved passions will have 
their satisfaction, at whatever cost to poor Gretchen. The 
fruit turns to ashes on his lips. The pleasure is not that 
of the thinking man, but of the accomplished poodle he 
has taken for his guide. To no moment in that intrigue 
can the suffrage of his whole nature say, ' Stay, thou art 
fair ! ' That is the pact — it is the distinctive keynote of 
Goethe's * Faust.' 

Canst thou by falsehood or by flattery 

Make me one moment with myself at peace, 

Cheat me into tranquillity .? — come then 

And welcome life's last day. 

Make me to the passing moment plead. 

Fly not, O stay, thou art so fair I 

Then will I gladly perish. 

The pomp and power of the court, luxury and wealth, 
equally fail to make the scholar at peace with himself. 
They are symbolised in the paper money by which 
Mephistopheles replenished the imperial exchequer. The 
only allusion to the printing-press, whose inventor Fust 
had been somewhat* associated with Faust, is to show its 
power turned to the work of distributing irredeemable 

HELENA. 35 1 

At length one demand made by Faust makes Mephisto- 
pheles tremble. As a mere court amusement he would 
have him raise Helen of Troy. Reluctant that Faust 
should look upon the type of man's harmonious develop- 
ment, yet bound to obey, Mephistopheles sends him to 
THE Mothers, — the healthy primal instincts and ideals 
of man which expressed themselves in the fair forms of 
art. Corrupted by superstition of their own worshippers, 
cursed by Christianity, they * have a Hades of their own,' 
as Mephistopheles says, and he is unwilling to interfere 
with them. The image appears, and the sense of Beauty 
is awakened in Faust. But he is still a christian as to his 
method : his idea is that heaven must be taken by storm, 
by chance, wish, prayer, any means except patient fulfil- 
ment of the conditions by which it may be reached. 
Helen is flower of the history and culture of Greece; and 
so lightly Faust would pluck and wear it ! 

Helen having vanished as he tried to clasp her, Faust 
has learned his second lesson. When he next meets 
Helen it is not to seek intellectual beauty as, in Gretchen's 
case, he had sought the sensuous and sensual. He has 
fallen under a charm higher than that of either Church or 
Mephistopheles; the divorce of ages between flesh and 
spirit, the master-crime of superstition, from which all 
devils sprang, was over for him from the moment that 
he sees the soul embodied and body ensouled in the art- 
ideal of Greece. 

The redemption of Faust through Art is the gospel of 
the nineteenth century. This is her vesture which Helen 
leaves him when she vanishes, and which bears him as 
a cloud to the land he is to make beautiful. The purest 
Art — Greek Art — is an expression of Humanity: it can 
as little be turned to satisfy a self-culture unhumanised as 
to consist with a superstition which insults nature. When 


Faust can meet with Helen, and part without any more 
clutching, he is not hurled back to his Gothic study and 
mocking devil any more : he is borne away until he reaches 
the land where his thought and work are needed. Blind- 
ness falls on him — or what Theology deems such : for it is 
metaphorical — it means that he has descended from clouds 
to the world, and the actual earth has eclipsed a possible 

The sphere of Earth is known enough to me ; 
The view beyond is barred immortality : 
A fool who there his blinking eyes directeth, 
And o'er his clouds of peers a place expecteth ! 
Firm let him stand and look around hini well ! 
This World means something to the capable ; 
Why needs he through Eternity to wend ? 

The eye for a fictitious world lost, leaves the vision for 
reality clearer. In every hard chaotic object Faust can 
now detect a slumbering beauty. The swamps and pools 
of the unrestrained sea, the oppressed people, the barren- 
ness and the flood, they are all paths to Helen — ^a nobler 
Helen than Greece knew. When he has changed one 
scene of Chaos into Order, and sees a free people tilling 
the happy earth, then, indeed, he has realised the travail 
of his manhood, and is satisfied. To a moment which 
Mephistopheles never brought him, he cries *Stay, thou 
art fair ! ' 

Mephistopheles now, as becomes a creation of the Theo- 
logy of obtaining what is not earned, calls up infernal 
troops to seize Faust's soul, but the angels pelt them with 
roses. The roses sting them worse than flames. The 
roses which Faust has evoked from briars are his defence : 
they are symbols of man completing his nature by a self- 
culture which finds its satisfaction in making some out- 
ward desert rejoice and blossom like the rose. 

( 353 ) 



The "Wild Hunt — Euphemisms — Schimmelreiter — Odinwald—Pied 
Piper — Lyeshy— Waldemar's Hunt — Paine Hunter — King Abel' 
Hunt — Lords of Glorup — Le Grand Veneur — Robert le Diable — 
Arthur — Hugo — Heme — Tregeagle — Der Freischiitz — Elijah's 
chariot — Mahan Bali — D^hak — Nimrod — Nimrod's defiance of 
Jehovah — His Tower — Robber Knights — The Devil in Leipzig — 
Olaf hunting pagans — Hunting-horns — Raven — Boar — Hounds- 
Horse — Dapplegrimm — Sleipnir — Horseflesh — The mare Chetiya 
—Stags— St. Hubert— The White Lady— Myths of Mother Rose 
— Wodan hunting St. Walpurga— Friar Eckhardt. 

The most important remnant of the Odin myth is the 
universal legend of the Wild Huntsman. The following 
variants are given by Wuttke.^ In Central and South 
Germany the Wild Hunt is commonly called Wiitenden 
Heere, i.e,y Wodan's army or chase — called in the Middle 
Ages, Wuotanges Heer. The hunter, generally supposed 
to be abroad during the twelve nights after Christmas, 
is variously called Wand, Waul, Wodejager, Helljager, 
Nightjager, Hackelberg, Hackelberend (man in armour), 
Fro Gode, Banditterich, Jenner. The most common belief 
is that he is the spectre of a wicked lord or king who 
sacrilegiously enjoyed the chase on Sundays and other 
holy days, and who is condemned to expiate his sin by 
hunting till the day of doom. He wears a broad-brimmed 

^ * Der deutsche Volksaberglaube der Gegenwart.' Von Dr. Adolf Wuttke, 
Prof, der Theol. in Halle. Berlin : Verlag von Wiegand & Grieben. 1869, 



hat; is followed by dogs and other animals, fiery, and 
often three-legged ; and in his spectral train are the souls 
of unbaptized children, huntsmen who have trodden down 
grain, witches, and others — these being mounted on horses, 
goats, and cocks, and sometimes headless, or with their 
entrails dragging behind them. They rush with a fearful 
noise through the air, which resounds with the cracking of 
whips, neighing of horses, barking of dogs, and cries of 
ghostly huntsmen. The unlucky wight encountered is 
caught up into the air, where his neck is wrung, or he is 
dropped from a great height. In some regions, it is said, 
such must hunt until relieved, but are not slain. The hunts- 
man is a Nemesis on poachers or trespassers in woods and 
forests. Sometimes the spectres have combats with each 
other over battlefields. Their track is marked with bits of 
horseflesh, human corpses, legs with shoes on. In some 
regions, it is said, the huntsmen carry battle-axes, and cut 
down all who come in their way. When the hunt is pass- 
ing all dogs on earth become still and quiet In most 
regions there is some haunted gorge, hill, or castle in which 
the train disappears. 

In Thuringia, it is said that, when the fearful noises of 
the spectral hunt come very near, they change to ravishing 
music. In the same euphemistic spirit some of the prog- 
nostications it brings are not evil: generally, indeed, the 
apparition portends war, pestilence, and famine, but fre- 
quently it announces a fruitful year. If, in passing a 
house, one of the train dips his finger in the yeast, the 
staff of life will never be wanting in that house. Whoever 
sees the chase will live long, say the Bohemians ; but he 
must not hail it, lest flesh and bones rain upon him. 

In most regions, however, there is thought to be great 
danger in proximity to the hunt. The perils are guarded 
against by prostration on the earth face downward, pray- 


ing meanwhile; by standing on a white cloth (Bertha's 
linen), or wrapping the same around the head ; by putting 
the head between the spokes of a wheel ; by placing palm 
leaves on a table. The hunt may be observed securely 
from the cross-roads, which it shuns, or by standing on 
a stump marked with three crosses — as is often done by 
woodcutters in South Germany. 

Wodan also appears in the Schimmelreiter — headless 
rider on a white horse, in Swabia called Bachreiter or 
Junker Jakele. This apparition sometimes drives a car- 
riage drawn by four white (or black) horses, usually head- 
less. He is the terrible forest spectre Hoimann, a giant 
in broad-brimmed hat, with moss and lichen for beard ; he 
rides a headless white horse through the air, and his wail- 
ing cry, * Hoi, hoi ! ' means that his reign is ended. He is 
the bugbear of children. 

In the Odinwald are the Riesendule and Riesenaltary 
with mystic marks declaring them relics of a temple of 
Odin. Near Erbach is Castle Rodenstein, the very for- 
tress of the Wild Jager, to which he passes with his horrid 
train from the ruins of Schnellert The village of Reichel- 
sheim has on file the affidavits of the people who heard 
him just before the battles of Leipzig and Waterloo. 
Their theory is that if the Jager returns swiftly to Schnel- 
lert all will go well for Germany ; but if he tarry at Roden- 
stein 'tis an omen of evil. He was reported near Frank- 
fort in 1832 ; but it is notable that no mention of him was 
made during the late Franco-German war. 

A somewhat later and rationalised variant relates that 
the wild huntsman was Hackelberg, the Lord of Roden- 
stein, whose tomb— really a Druidical stone — is shown at 
the castle, and said to be guarded by hell-hounds. Hackel- 
berg is of old his Brunswick name. It was the Hackel- 
berg Hill that opened to receive the children, which the 


Pied Piper of Hamelin charmed away with his flute from 
that old town, because the corporation would not pay him 
what they had promised for ridding them of rats. It is 
easy to trace this Pied Piper, who has become so familiar 
through Mr. Robert Browning's charming poem, to the 
Odin of more blessed memory, who says in the Havamal, 
' I know a song by which I soften and enchant my ene- 
mies, and render their weapons of no effect* 

This latter aspect of Odin, his command over vermin, 
connects him with the Slavonic Lyeshy, or forest-demon of 
the Russias. The ancient thunder-god of Russia, Penin, 
who rides in his storm-chariot through the sky, has iq the 
more christianised districts dropped his mantle on Ilya 
(Elias) ; while in the greater number of Slavonic districts 
he has held his original physical characters so remarkably 
that it has been necessary to include him among demons. 
In Slavonian Folklore the familiar myth of the wild hunts- 
man is distributed — Vladimir the Great fulfils one part of 
it by still holding high revel in the halls of Kief, but he is 
no huntsman ; Perun courses noisily through the air, but 
he is rather benevolent than otherwise; the diabolical 
characteristics of the superstition have fallen to the evil 
huntsmen (Lyeshies), who keep the wild creatures as their 
flocks, the same as shepherds their herds, and whom every 
huntsman must propitiate. The Lyeshy is gigantic, wears 
a sheepskin, has one eye without eyebrow or eyelash, 
horns, feet of a goat, is covered with green hair, and his 
finger-nails are claws. He is special protector of the bears 
and wolves. 

In Denmark the same myth appears as King Volmer s 
Hunt. Waldemar was so passionately fond of the chase 
that he said if the Lord would only let him hunt for ever 
near Gurre (his castle in the north of Seeland), he would 
notenvy him his paradise. For this blasphemous wish he 


is condemned to hunt between Burre and Gurre for ever. 
His cavalcade is much like that already described. Vol* 
mer rides a snow-white charger, preceded by a pack of 
coal-black hounds, and he carries his head under his left 
arm. On St. John the women open gates for him. It is 
believed that he is allowed brief repose at one and another 
of his old seats, and it is said spectral servants are some- 
times seen preparing the ruined castle at Vordingborg 
for him, or at Waldemar's Tower. A sceptical peasant 
resolved to pass the night in this tower. At midnight the 
King entered, and, thanking him for looking after his 
tower, gave him a gold piece which burned through his 
hand and fell to the ground as a coal. On the other hand, 
Waldemar sometimes makes peasants hold his dogs, and 
afterwards throws them coals which turn out to be gold 

The Palnatoke or Paine Hunter appears mostly in the 
island of Ftien, Every New Year's night he supplies 
himself with three horse-shoes from some smithy, and 
the smith takes care that he may find them ready for use 
on his anvil, as he always leaves three gold pieces in 
their stead. If the shoes are not ready for him, he carries 
the anvil off. In one instance he left an anvil on the top 
of a church tower, and it caused the smith great trouble 
to get it down again. 

King Abel was interred after his death in St. Peter's 
Church in Sleswig, but the fratricide could find no peace 
in his grave. His ghost walked about in the night and 
disturbed the monks in their devotions. The body was 
finally removed from the church, and sunk in a foul bog 
near Gottorp. To keep him down effectively, a pointed 
stake was drove through his body. The spot is still called 
Konigsgrabe. Notwithstanding this, he appears seated on 
a coal-black charger, followed by a pack of black hounds 


with eyes and tongues of fire. The gates are heard slam- 
ming and opening, and the shrieks and yells are such 
that they appal the stoutest hearts. 

At the ancient capital of Fuen, Odense, said to have 
been built by Odin, the myth has been reduced to a 
spectral Christmas-night equipage, which issues from St. 
Canute's Church and passes to the ancient manor-house 
of Glorup. It is a splendid carriage, drawn by six black 
horses with fiery tongues, and in it are seated the Lords 
of Glorup, famous for their cruelty to peasants, and now 
not able to rest in the church where they were interred. 
It is of evil omen to witness the spectacle : a man who 
watched for it was struck blind. 

In France Le Grand Veneur bears various names ; he is 
King Arthur, Saint Hubert, Hugo. His alleged appear- 
ances within historic times have been so strongly attested 
that various attempts have been made to give them 
rational explanations. Thus Charles VI. of France, when 
going to war in Bretagne, is said to have been met by 
such a spectre in the Forest of Mans, and became insane ; 
he believed himself to have been the victim of sorcery, as 
did many of his subjects. It has been said that the King 
was met by a disguised emissary of the Due de Bretagne. 
More particular accounts are given of the apparition of 
the Wild Huntsman to Henry IV. when he was hunting 
with the Comte de Soissons in the Forest of Fontaine- 
bleau, an event commemorated by * La Croix du Grand 
Veneur.' According to Matthieu,^ both the King and the 
Count heard the cries of the 'hunt, and when the Count 
went to discover their origin, the terrible dark figure stood 
forth and cried, 'You wish to see me, then behold I' This 
incident has been explained variously, as a project of 
assassination, or as the jest of two fellows who, in 1596, 

^ ' Histoire de France et des Choses M^morables,' &c. 


were amusing Paris by their skill in imitating all the 
sounds of a hunt. But such phantoms had too long 
hunted through the imagination of the French peasantry 
for any explanation to be required. Robert le Diable, 
wandering in Normandy till judgment-day, and King 
Arthur, at an early date domesticated in France as a 
spectral huntsman (the figure most popularly identified at 
the time with the phantom seen by Henry IV.), are suffi- 
cient explanations. The ruins of Arthur's Castle near 
Huelgoat, Finist^re, were long believed to hide enormous 
treasures, guarded by demons, who appear sometimes as 
fiery lights (ignes fatuui), owls, buzzards, and ravens— one 
of the latter being the form in which Arthur comes from 
his happy Vale of Avallon, when he would vary its repose 
with a hunt.^ 

A sufficiently curious interchange of such superstitions 

^ The universal myth of Sleepers,— christianised in the myth of St. John, 
and of the Seven whose slumber is traceable as far as Tours, — ^had a direct 
pagan development in Jami, Barbarossa, Arthur, and their many variants. It 
is the legend of the Castle of Sewingshields in Northumberland, that King 
Arthur, his queen and court, remain there in a subterranean hall, entranced, 
until some one should first blow a bugle-horn near the entrance hall, and then 
with ' the sword of the stone ' cut a garter placed there beside it. But none 
had ever heard where the entrance to this enchanted hall was, till a farmer, 
fifty years since, was sitting knitting on the ruins of the castle, and his clew 
fell and ran downwards through briars into a deep subterranean passage. He 
cleared the portal of its weeds and rubbish, and entering a vaulted passage, 
followed the clew. The floor was infested with toads and lizards ; and bats flitted 
fearfully around him. At length his sinking courage was strengthened by a 
dim, distant light, which, as he advanced, grew gradually brighter, till all at 
once he entered a vast and vaulted hall, in the centre of which a fire, without 
fuel, from a broad crevice in the floor, blazed with a high and lambent flame, 
that showed all the carved walls arid fretted roof, and the monarch and his 
queen and court reposing around in a theatre of thrones and costly couches. 
On the floor, beyond the fire, lay the faithful and deep-toned pack of thirty 
couple of hounds ; and on a table before it the spell-dissolving horn, sword, 
and garter. The shepherd firmly grasped the sword, and as he drew it from 
its rusty scabbard the eyes of the monarch and his courtiers began to open, 
and they rose till they sat upright. He cut the garter, and as the sword was 
slowly sheathed the spell assumed its ancient power, and they all gradually 

36o HUGO. 

IS represented in the following extract from Surtees: — 
* Sir Anthon Bek, busshop of Dureme in the tyme of 
King Eduarde, the son of King Henry, was the maist 
prowd and masterfuU busshop in all England, and it was 
commonly said that he was the prowdest lord of Chris- 
tienty. It chaunced that emong other lewd persons, this 
sir Anthon entertained at his court one Hugh de Fount- 
chard on, that for his evill deeds and manifold robberies 
had been driven out of the Inglische courte, and had come 
from the.southe to seek a little bread, and to live by stay- 
linge. And to this Hughe, whom also he imployed to 
good purpose in the warr of Scotland, the busshop gave 
the land of Thikley, since of him called Thikley-Punt- 
chardon, and also made him his chiefe huntsman. And 
after, this blake Hughe died afore the busshop; and efter 
that the busshop chasid the wild hart in Galtres forest, 
and sodainly ther met with him Hugh de Pontchardon, 
that was afore deid, on a wythe horse; and the said Hughe 
loked earnestly on the busshop, and the busshop said unto 
him, * Hughe, what makethe thee here?' and he spake 
never word, but lifte up his cloke, and then he showed sir 
Anton his ribbes set with bones, and nothing more ; and 
none other of the varlets saw him but the busshop only ; 
and y* said Hughe went his way, and sir Anton toke 
corage, and cheered the dogges ; and shortly efter he was 
made Patriarque of Hierusalem, and he same nothing no 

sank to rest ; but not before the monarch had lifted up his eyes and hands 
and exclaimed — 

O woe betide that evil day 
On which this witless wight was bom, 
Who drew the sword — the garter cut, 
But never blew the bugle horn. 

Terror brought on loss of memory, and the shepherd was unable to give any 
correct account of his adventure, or to find again the entrance to the enchanted 
hall. — Hodgsor^s * Northumberland, ' 


moe ; and this Hugh is him that the silly people in Galtres 
doe call le Gros Veneur, and he was seen twice efter that 
by simple folk, afore y** the forest was felled in the tyme 
of Henry, father of King Henry y*' now ys* 

And it was from this uncanny fellow that the pro- 
testants of France, hunted by the like of him, acquired 
the name — Huguenots — now risen to honour. 

The legend of the Wild Huntsman tinges many old 
English stories. Heme, the Hunter, may be identified 
with him, and the demons, with ghostly and headless 
wish-hounds, who still hunt evil-doers over Dartmoor on 
stormy nights, are his relations. The withered look of 
^ horses grazing on Penzance Common was once explained 
by their being ridden by demons, and the fire-breathing 
horse has found its way by many weird routes to the 
service of the Exciseman in the * Ingoldsby Legends,' or 
that of Earl Garrett, who rides round the Curragh of 
Kildare on a steed whose inch-thick silver shoes must 
wear as thin as a cat's ear, ere he fights the English and 
reigns over Ireland. The Teutonic myth appears very 
plainly in the story of Tregeagle. This man, traced to 
an old Cornish family, is said to have been one of the 
wickedest men that ever lived ; but though he had dis- 
posed of his soul to the Devil, the evil one was baulked by 
the potency of St. Petroc, This, however, was on con- 
dition of Tregeagle's labouring at the impossible task of 
clearing the sand from Porthcurnow Cove, at which work 
he may still be heard groaning when wind and wave are 
high. Whenever he tries to snatch a moment's rest, the 
demon is at liberty to pursue him, and they may be heard 
on stormy nights in hot pursuit of the poor creature, 
whose bull-like roar passed into the Cornish proverb, * to 
roar like Tregeagle.' 

On a pleasant Sunday evening in July 1868, 1 witnessed 


•Der Freischutz' in the newly-opened opera-house at 
Leipzig. Never elsewhere have I seen such completeness 
and splendour in the weird effects of the infernal scene in 
the Wolfs Glen. The ' White Lady ' started forth at 
every step of Caspar's descent to the glen, warning him 
back. Zamiel, instead of the fiery garb he once wore as 
Samael, was arrayed in raiment black as night ; and when 
the magic bullet was moulded, the stage swarmed with 
huge reptiles, fiery serpents crawled on the ground, a 
dragon-drawn chariot, with wheels of fire, driven by a 
skeleton, passed through the air ; and the wild huntsman's 
chase, composed of animals real to the eye and uttering 
their distinguishable cries, hurried past The animals 
represented were the horse, hound, boar, stag, chamois, 
raven, bat, owl, and they rushed amid the wild blast of 

I could but marvel at the yet more strange and weird 
history of the human imagination through which had 
flitted, from the varied regions of a primitive world, the 
shapes combined in this apotheosis of diablerie. Probably 
if Elijah in his fire-chariot, preached about in the neigh- 
bouring church that morning, and this wild huntsman 
careering in the opera, had looked closely at each other 
and at their own history, they might have found a com- 
mon ancestor in the mythical Mahan Bali of India, the 
king whose austerities raised in power till he excited the 
jealousy of the gods, until Vishnu crushed him with his 
heel into the infernal regions, where he still exercises sove- 
reignty, and is permitted to issue forth for an annual 
career (at the Onam festival), as described in Southey's 
* Curse of Kehama.* And they might probably both 
claim mythological relationship with Yami, lord of death, 
who, as Jami, began in Persia the career of all warriors 
that never died, but sometimes sleep till a magic horn 


shall awaken them, sometimes dwell, like Jami himself and 
King Arthur, in happy isles, and in other cases issue forth 
at certain periods for the chase or for war — like Odin and 
Waldemar — with an infernal train. 

But how did these mighty princes and warriors become 
demon huntsmen ? 

In the Persian 'Desatir* it is related that the animals 
contested the superiority of man, the two orders of beings 
being represented by their respective sages, and the last 
animal to speak opposed the claim of his opponent that 
man attained elevation to the nature of angels, with the 
remark, ' In his putting to death of animals and simi- 
lar acts man resembleth the beasts of prey, and not 

The prophet of the world then said, ' We deem it sinful 
to kill harmless, but right to slay ravenous, animals. Were 
all ravenous animals to enter into a compact not to kill 
harmless animals, we would abstain from slaying them, 
and hold them dear as ourselves.' 

Upon this the wolf made a treaty with the ram, and the 
lion became friend of the stag. No tyranny was left in 
the world, till man (Dehak) broke the treaty and began to 
kill animals. In consequence of this, none observed the 
treaty except the harmless animals.^ 

This fable, from the Aryan side, may be regarded as 
showing the reason of the evil repute which gathered 
around the name of Dehak or Zohak. The eating of 
animal food was among our Aryan ancestors probably the 
provisional commissariat of a people migrating from their 
original habitat The animals slain for food had all their 

^ This great discussion between the animals and sages is given in ' The 
Sacred Anthology * (London : Triibner & Co. New York : Henry Holt & 
Co.). It is a very ancient story, and was probably written down at the 
beginning of the christian era. 

364 DEHAK, 

original consecration, and even the ferocious were largely- 
invested with awe. The woodcutters of Bengal invoke 
Kalrayu — an archer tiger-mounted — to protect them 
against the wild beasts he (a form of Siva) is supposed 
to exterminate ; but while the exterminator of the most 
dangerous animals may, albeit without warrant in the 
Shastr, be respected in India, the huntsman is generally of 
evil repute. The gentle Krishna was said to have been 
slain by an arrow from the bow of Ungudu, a huntsman, 
who left the body to rot under a tree where it fell, the 
bones being the sacred relics for which the image of 
Jugernath at Orissa was constructed.^ 

It is not known at what period the notion of transmi- 
gration arose, but that must have made him appear can- 
nibalistic who first hunted and devoured animals. Such 
was the Persian Zohak (or Dehak). His Babylonian form, 
Nimrod, represented also the character of Esau, as hunts- 
man ; that is, the primitive enemy of the farmer, and of 
the commerce in grains ; the preserver of wildness, and 
consequently of all those primitive aboriginal idolatries 
which linger in the heaths (whence heathen) and country 
villages (whence pagans) long after they have passed away 
from the centres of civilisation. Hunting is essentially 
barbarous. The willingness of some huntsmen even now, 
when this serious occupation of an early period has become 
a sport, to sacrifice not only animal life to their pleasure, 
but also the interests of labour and agriculture, renders it 
very easy for us to understand the transformation of Nim- 
rod into a demon. In the Hebrew and Arabian legends 
concerning Nimrod, that * mighty hunter' is shown as 

^ It is a strange proof of the ignorance concerning Hindu religion that 
Jugernath, raised in a sense for reprobation of cruelty to man and beast, 
should have been made by a missionary myth a Western proverb for human 
sacrifices ! 

NIMROD. 365 

related to the wild elements and their worshipper. When 
Abraham, having broken the images of his father, was 
brought by Terah before Nimrod, the King said, * Let us 
worship the fire ! ' 

' Rather the water that quenches the fire/ said Abraham. 

' Well, the water.' 

* Rather the cloud that carries the water.' 
' Well, the cloud.* 

* Rather the wind that scatters the cloud.' 
' Well, the wind; 

* Rather man, for he withstands the wind.* 

' Thou art a babbler,' said Nimrod^ * I worship the fire 
and will cast thee into it.' 

When Abraham was cast into the fiery furnace by 
Nimrod, and on the seventh day after was found sitting 
amid the roses of a garden, the mighty hunter — hater of 
gardens — resolved on a daring hunt for Abraham's God 
himself. He built a tower five thousand cubits high, but 
finding heaven still far away, he attached a car to two half- 
starved eagles, and by holding meat above them they flew 
upward, until Nimrod heard a voiqe saying, * Godless man, 
whither goest thou ? ' The audacious man shot an arrow 
in the direction of the voice ; the arrow returned to him 
stained with blood, and Nimrod believed that he had 
wounded Abraham's God. 

He who hunted the universe was destroyed by one of 
the weakest of animated beings — a fly. In the aspiring 
fly which attacked Nimrod's lip, and then nose, and finally 
devoured his brain, the Moslem and Hebrew doctors saw 
the fittest end of one whose adventurous spirit had not 
stopped to attack animals, man, Abraham, and Allah 

But though, in one sense, destroyed, Nimrod, say various 
myths, may be heard tumbling and groaning about the 


Hodge. As long as your two armes. Saw yc 

fryer Rushe 
Painted on cloth, with a side long cowe's tayle 
And crooked cloven feet, and many a hooked nay- 
For all the world (if I should judge) should recko: 

his brother ; 
Loke, even what face fryer Rushe had, the devii 

such another. 

In the scene of Christ's delivering souls from purga' 
the Devil is represented as blowing lustily a horn to a 
his comrades, and crying, ' Out, out, aronzt ! * to 
invader. He fights with a three-pronged fork. He 
his victims are painted black,^ in contrast with the h 
of the saved, which are white. The hair was consicL 
very important* When he went to battle, even his i 
nature was sometimes represented in a way that w 
have been more ludicrous than impressive.* 

The insignificance to which the priests had reduced 
devil in the plays, where they were usually the act 
reflected their own petty routine of life. They could c 
ceive of nothing more terrible than their own mean u 
haps and local obstructions. One great office of the I) 
was to tempt some friar to sleep when he should be 
prayer,* make another drink too much, or a third cast \va 
glances at a village beauty. The Revelations of the Ab. 
Richalmus, written seven hundred years ago, shows \ 

^ So Shakespere, *The Devil damn thee black.* 

' In an account, 1568, we find : — *pay*d for iij li of heare ij« yj*/ 

• The Directions for the * Castle of Good Perseverance,' say : * & he p- - 
plcy belyal, loke p^ he have guile powd' bre&ng in pypys T h's hands & : 
ers & 7 h's ars whine he gothe to batayle.' 

* This notion was widespread. I have seen an ancient Russian pictur 
which the Devil is dancing before a priest who has become drowsy ove. 
prayer-book. There was once a Moslem controversy as to whether it wn^ 
for pilgrims to keep themselves awake for their prayers by chewing C( ' 


base of his tower of Babel, where the confusion of tongues 
took place; and it might be added, that they have, like 
the groan, a meaning irrespective of race or language. 
Dehak and Nimrod have had their brothers in every race, 
which has ever reached anything that may be called civi- 
lisation. It was the barbaric Baron and the Robber Knight 
of the Middle Ages, living by the hunt, who, before conver- 
sion, made for the Faithful Eckhardts of the Church the 
chief impediment ; they might then strike down the monk, 
whose apparition has always been the legendary warning 
of the Demon's approach. When the Eckhardts had 
baptized these knights, they had already been transformed 
to the Devils which people the forests of Germany, France, 
and England with their terrible spectres. The wild fables 
of the East, telling of fell Demons coursing through the 
air, whispered to the people at one ear, and the equally 
wild deeds of the Robber Knights at the other. The 
Church had given the people one name for all such phan- 
tasms — Devil — and it was a name representative of the 
feelings of both priest and peasant, so long as the Robber 
Knights were their common enemy. Jesus had to be a 
good deal modified before he could become the model of 
this Teutonic Esau. It is after the tradition of his old 
relation to huntsmen that the Devil has been so especially 
connected in folklore with soldiers. In the 'Annals of 
Leipzig,' kept in Auerbach's Cellar, famous for the flight 
of Mephisto and Faust from its window on a wine-cask, I 
found two other instances in which the Devil was reported 
as having appeared in that town. In one case (1604), the 
fiend had tempted one Jeremy of Strasburg, a marksman, 
to commit suicide, but that not succeeding, had desired 
him to go with him to the neighbouring castle and enjoy 
some fruit. The marksman was saved by help of a Dean. 
In 1633, during a period of excessive cold and snow, the 



Devil induced a soldier to blaspheme. The marksman 
and the soldier were, indeed^ the usual victims of the 
Wild Huntsmen's temptations ; and it was for such that 
the unfailing magic bullets were moulded in return for 
their impawned souls. 

How King Olaf — whose name lingers among us in 
* Tooley Street/ so famous for its Three Tailors I^ — spread 
the Gospel through the North after his baptism in Eng- 
land is well known. Whatever other hunt may have been 
phantasmal, it was not Olaf 's hunt of the heathen. To 
put a pan of live coals under "the belly of one, to force an 
adder down the throat of another, to offer all men the 
alternatives of being baptized or burnt, were the arguments 
which this apostle applied with such energy that at last — 
but not until many brave martyrdoms — the chief people 
were convinced. Olaf encountered Odin as if he had been 
a living foe, and what is more, believed in the genuine 
existence of his former God. Once, as Olaf and his friends 
believed, Odin appeared to this devastator of his altars as 
a one-eyed man in broad-brimmed hat, delighting the King 
in his hours of relaxation with that enchanting conversa- 
tion for which he was so famous. But he (Odin) tried 
secretly to induce the cook to prepare for his royal master 
some fine meat which he had poisoned. But Olaf said, 
'Odin shall not deceive us,' and ordered the tempting 
viand to be thrown away. Odin was god of the barbarian 
Junkers, and the people rejoiced that he was driven into 
holes and corners; his rites remained mainly among hunts- 
men, and had to be kept Very secret. In the Gulathings 
Lagen of Norway it is ordered : * Let the king and bishop, 
with all possible care, search after those who exercise 
pagan rites, who use magic arts, who adore the genii of 
particular places, of tombs, or rivers, and who, after the 

* St. Olaf = Stooley = Tooley. 


manner of devils in travelling, are transported from place 
to place through the air.' 

Under such very actual curses as these, the once sacred 
animals of Odin, and all the associations of the hunt, were 
diabolised. Even the hunting-horn was regarded as having 
something praeternatural about it. The howling blast 
when Odin consulteth Mimir's head ^ was heard again in 
. the Pied Piper's flute, and passed southward to blend its 
note with the horn of Roland at Rpncesvalles, — ^which 
brought help from distances beyond the reach of any 
honest horn, and even with the pipe of Pan. 

That the Edda described Odin as mounted on a mys- 
terious horse, as cherishing two wolves for pets, having a 
roasted boar for the daily pike de resistance of his table, 
and with a raven on either shoulder, whispering to him 
the secret affairs of the earth, was enough to settle the 
reputation of those animals in the creed of christian 
priests. The Raven was, indeed, from of old endowed 
with the holy awfulness of the christian dove, in the 
Norse Mythology. To this day no Swede will kill a 
raven. The superstition concerning it was strong enough 
to transmit even to Voltaire an involuntary shudder at its 
croak. Odin was believed to have given the Raven the 
colour of the night that it might the better spy out the 
deeds of darkness. Its 'natural theology' is, no doubt, 
given correctly by Robert Browning's Caliban, who, when 
his speculations are interrupted by a thunderstorm, sup- 

* High bloweth Heimdall 
His horn aloft ; 
Odin consulteth 
Mimir's head ; 
The old ash yet standing 

To its summit is shaken, 
And loose breaks the giant.— K<?///j/a. 

THE BOAR. 369 

poses his soliloquy has been conveyed by the raven he stts 
flying to his god Setebos. In many parts of Germany 
ravens are believed to hold souls of the damned. If a 
raven's heart be secured it procures an unerring shot 

From an early date the Boar became an ensign of the 
prowess of the gods, by which its head passed to be the 
device of so many barbaric clans and ancient families in 
the Northern world. In Vedic Mythology we find Indra 
taking the shape of a Wild Boar, also killing a demon 
Boar, and giving Tritas the strength by which a similat 
monster is slain.^ According to another fable, while 
Brahma and Vishnu are quarrelling as to which is the 
first-born, Siva interferes and cries, * I am the first-born ; 
nevertheless I will recognise as my superior him who is 
able to see the summit of my head or the sole of my feet/ 
Vishnu, tran^orming himself to a Boar, pierced the ground, 
penetrated to the infernal regions, and then saw the feet 
of Siva, who on his return saluted him as first-born of the 
gods. De Gubernatis regards this fable as making the 
Boar emblem of the hidden Moon.* He is hunted by the 
Sun. He guards the treasure of the demons which Indra 
gains by slaying him. In Sicilian story, Zafarana, by 
throwing three hog's bristles on embers, renews her 
husband's youth. In Esthonian legend, a prince, by eating 
pork, acquires the faculty of understanding the language 
of birds, — ^which may mean leading on the spring with 
its songs of birds. But whether these particular inter- 
pretations be true or not, there is no doubt that the Boar, 
at an early period, became emblematic of the wild forces 
of nature, and from being hunted by King Odin on earth 
passed to be his favourite food in Valhalla, and a prominent 
figure in his spectral hunt. 

Enough has already been said of the Dog in several 

» 'Rigveda,' x. 99. " 'Zoolog. Myth.,' ii. 8, 10, &c. 

VOL. II. 2 A 


chapters of this work to render it but natural that this 
animal should take his place in any diabolical train. It 
was not as a ' hell-hound/ or descendant of the guardians 
of Orcus, that he entered the spectral procession of Odin, 
but as man's first animal assistant in the work of obtaining 
a living from nature. It is the faithful friend of man who 
is demoralised in Waldemar's Lystig, the spectre-hound 
of Peel Castle, the Manthe Doog of the Isle of Man, the 
sky-dogs (Cwn wybir or aunwy) of Wales, and Roscommon 
dog of Ireland. 

Of the Goat, the Dog, and some other diabolised 
animals, enough has been said in previous pages. The 
nocturnal animals would be as naturally caught up into 
the Wild Huntsman's train as belated peasants. But it is 
necessary to dwell a little on the relations of the Horse 
to this Wild Hunt. It was the Horse that made the 
primitive king among men. 

*The Horse,' says Dasent, 'was a sacred animal among 
the Teutonic tribes from the first moment of their appear- 
ance in history; and Tacitus has related how, in the shade 
of those woods and groves which served them for temples, 
white horses were fed at the public cost, whose backs no 
mortal crossed, whose neighings and snortings were care- 
fully watched as auguries and omens, and who were 
thought to be conscious of divine mysteries. In Persia, 
too, the classical reader will remember how the neighing 
of a horse decided the choice for the crown. Here in 
England, at any rate, we have only to think of Hengist 
and Horsa, the twin heroes of the Anglo-Saxon migration 
—as the legend ran — heroes whose name meant Aorse,aLnd 
of the Vale of the White Horse, in Berks, where the sacred 
form still gleams along the down, to be reminded of the 
sacredness of the horse to our forefathers. The Eddas 
are filled with the names of famous horses, and the Sagas 


contain many stories of good steeds, in whom their owners 
trusted and believed as sacred to this or that particular 
god. Such a horse is Dapplegrimm in the Norse tales, 
who saves his master out of all his perils, and brings him 
to all fortune, and is another example of that mysterious 
connection with the higher powers which animals in all 
ages have been supposed to possess/ 

It was believed that no warrior could approach Valhalla 
except on horseback, and the steed was generally buried 
with his master. The Scandinavian knight was accus- 
tomed to swear *by the shoulder of a horse and the 
edge of a sword.* Odin (the god) was believed to have 
always near him the eight-legged horse Sleipnir, whose 
sire was the wonderful Svaldilfari, who by night drew the 
enormous stones for the fortress defending Valhalla from 
the frost-giants. On Sleipnir the deity rode to the realm 
of Hela, when he evoked the spirit of the deceased pro- 
phetess, Vala, with Runic incantations, to learn Baldur's 
fate. This is the theme of the Veytamsvida, paraphrased 
by Gray in his ode beginning — 

Up rose the king of men with speed, 
And saddled straight his coal-black steed 

The steed, however, was not black, but grey. Sleipnir 
was the foal of a magically-created- mare. The demon- 
mare (Mara) holds a prominent place in Scandinavian 
superstition, besetting sleepers. In the Ynglinga Saga, 
Vanland awakes from sleep, crying, * Mara is treading on 
me I' His men hasten to help him, but when they take hold 
of his head Mara treads on his legs, and when they hold his 
legs she tramples on his head ; and so, says Thiodolf — 

Trampled to death, to Skyta's shore 
The corpse his faithful followers bore ; 
And there they burnt, with heavy hearts, 
The good chief, killed by witchcraft's arts. 


All this Js, of course, the origin of the common supersti- 
tion of the nightmare. The horse-shoe used against witches 
is from the same region. We may learn here also the 
reason why hippophagy has been so long unknown among 
us. Odin's boar has left his head on our Christmas tables, 
but Olaf managed to rob us of the horse-flesh once eaten 
in honour of that god. In the eleventh century he pro- 
claimed the eating of horse-flesh a test of paganism, as 
baptism was of Christianity, and punished it with death, 
except in Iceland, where it was permitted by an express 
stipulation on their embracing Christianity. To these 
facts it may be added that originally the horse's head 
was lifted, as the horse-shoe is now, for a charm against 
witches. When Wittekind fought twenty years ag«iinst 
Charlemagne, the ensign borne by his Saxon followers 
was a horse's head raised on a pole. A white horse on 
a yellow ground is to-day the Hanoverian banner, its 
origin being undoubtedly Odinistic. 

The christian edict against the eating of horse-flesh had 
probably a stronger motive than sentimental opposition 
to paganism. A Roman emperor had held the stirrup for 
a christian pontiff to mount, and something of the same 
kind occurred in the North. The Horse, which had been 
a fire-breathing devil under Odin, became a steed of the 
Sun under the baptized noble and the bishop. Henceforth 
we read of coal-black and snow-white horses, as these are 
mounted in the interest of the old religion or the new. 

It is very curious to observe how far and wide has gone 
religious competition for possession of that living tower 
of strength — the Horse. In ancient Ceylon we find the 
Buddhist immigrants winning over the steed on which 
the aborigines were fortified. It was a white horse, of 
course, that became their symbol of triumph. The old 
record says — 


* A certain yakkhini (demoness) named Chetiya, having 
the form and countenance of a mare, dwelt near the 
marsh of Tumbariungona. A certain person in the 
prince's (Pandukabhayo) retinue having seen this beauti- 
ful (creature), white with red legs, announced the circum- 
stance to the prince. The prince set out with a rope to 
secure her. She seeing him approach from behind, losing 
her presence of mind from fear, under the influence of his 
imposing appearance, fled without (being able to exert 
the power she possessed of) rendering herself invisible. 
He gave chase to the fugitive. She, persevering in her 
flight, made the circuit of the marsh seven times. She 
made three more circuits of the marsh, and then plunged 
into the river at the Kachchhaka ferry. He did the same, 
and (in the river) seized her by the tail, and (at the same 
time grasped) the leaf of a palmira tree which the stream 
was carrying down. By his supernatural good fortune 
this (leaf) became an enormous sword. Exclaiming, * I 
put thee to death!' he flourished the sword over her. 
•Lord!' replied she to him, 'subduing this kingdom for 
thee, I will confer it on thee : spare me my life.' Seizing 
her by the throat, and with the point of the sword boring 
her nostril, he secured her with his rope : she (instantly) 
became tractable. Conducting her to the Dhumarakkho 
mountain, he obtained a great accession of warlike power 
by making her his battle-steed.'^ The wonderful victories 
won by the prince, aided by this magical mare, are re- 
lated, and the tale ends with his setting up 'within the 
royal palace itself the mare-faced yakkhini,' and providing 
for her annually 'demon offerings,' 

Equally ambiguous with the Horse in this zoologic 
diablerie is the Stag. In the Heraklean legends we find 

^ 'The Mahawanso.' Translated by the Hon. George Tumour, Ceylon, 
1836, p. 69. 


that hero's son, Telephon, nursed by a hind in the woods ; 
and on the other hand, his third * labour * was the capture 
of Artemis* gold-antlered stag, which brought on him her 
wrath (it being * her majesty's favourite stag '). We have 
again the story of Actaeon pursuing the stag too far and 
suffering the fate he had prepared for it; and a reminiscence 
of it in the * Pentamerone/ when the demon Huoreo allures 
Canneloro into the wood by taking the form of a beautiful 
hind. These complex legends are reflected in Northern 
folklore also. Count Otto I. of Altmark, while out hunt- 
ing, slept under an oak and dreamed that he was furiously 
attacked by a stag, which disappeared when he called on 
the name of God. The Count built a monastery, which 
still stands, with the oak's stump built into its altar. On 
the other hand, beside the altar of a neighbouring church 
hang two large horns of a stag said to have brought a lost 
child home on its back. Thus in the old town of Steindal 
meet these contrary characters of the mystical stag, of 
which it is not difficult to see that the evil one results from 
its misfortune in being at once the huntsman's victim and 

In the legend of St. Hubert we have the sign of Christ 
— ^risen from his tomb among the rich christians to share 
for a little the crucifixion of their first missionaries in the 
North — to the huntsmen of Europe. Hubert pursues the 
stag till it turns to face him, and behold, between its 
antlers, the cross ! It is a fable conceived in the spirit of 

^ It was an ancient custom to offer a stag on the high altar of Durham 
Abbey, the sacrifice being accompanied with winding of horns, on Holy Rood 
Day. which suggests a form of propitiating the Wild Huntsman in the hunting 
season. On the Cheviot Hills there is a chasm called Hen Hole, ' in which 
there is frequently seen a snow egg at Midsummer, and it is related that a 
party of hunters, while chasing a roe, were beguiled into it by fairies, and 
could never again find their way out.' — Richardson's ' Borderer's Table-Book, ' 
▼1 40a The Bridled Devil of Durham Cathedral may be an allusion to the 
AVild Huntsman. 


him who said to fishermen, * Come with me and I will 
make you fishers of men/ The effect was much the same 
in both cases. Hubert kneels before the stag, and be- 
comes a saint, as the fishermen left their nets and became 
apostles. But, as the proverb says, when the saint's day 
is over, farewell the saint. The fishermen's successors 
caught men with iron hooks in their jaws ; the successors 
of Hubert hunted men and women so lustily that they 
never paused long enough to see whether there might not 
be a cros3 on their forehead also. 

It was something, however, that the cross which Con- 
stantine could only see in the sky could be seen by any 
eye on the forehead of a harmless animal ; and this not 
only because it marked the rising in christian hearts of 
pity for the animals, but because what was done to the 
flying stag was done to the peasant who could not fly, and 
more terribly. The vision of Hubert came straight from 
the pagan heart of Western and Northern Europe. In the 
Bible, from Genesis to Apocalypse, no word is found clearly 
inculcating any duty to the animals. So little, indeed, could 
the christians interpret the beautiful tales of folklore con- 
cerning kindly beasts, out of which came the legend of 
Hubert, that Hubert was made patron of huntsmen; and 
while, by a popular development, Wodan was degraded to 
a devil, the baptized sportsman rescued his chief occupa- 
tion by ascribing its most dashing legends to St. Martin 
and their inspiration to the Archangel Michael. 

It is now necessary to consider the light which the 
German heart cast across the dark shadows of Wodan. 
This is to be discovered in the myth of the White Lady. 
We have already seen, in the confessions of the witches of 
Elfdale, in Sweden, that when they were gathering before 
their formidable Devil, a certain White Spirit warned them 
back. The children said she tried to keep them from 


entering the Devil's Church at Blockula. This may not 
be worth much as a * confession/ but it sufficiently reports 
the theories prevailing in the popular mind of Elfdale at 
that time. It is not doubtful now that this White Lady 
and that Devil she opposed were, in pre-christian time, 
Wodan and his wife Frigga. The humble people who 
had gladly given up the terrible huntsman and warrior 
to be degraded into a Devil, and with him the barbaric 
Nimrods who worshipped him, did not agree to a similar 
surrender of their dear household goddess, known to them 
as Frigga, Holda, Bertha, Mother Rose, — under all her 
epithets the Madonna of the North, interceding between 
them and the hard king of Valhalla, ages before they ever 
heard of a jealous Jehovah and a tender interceding Mary. 
Dr. Wuttke has collected many variants of the myths 
of Frigga, some of which bear witness to the efforts of the 
Church to degrade her also into a fiend. She is seen 
washing white clothes at fountains, milking cows, spinning 
flax with a distaff, or combing her flaxen hair. She was 
believed to be the divine ancestress of the human race ; 
many of the oldest families claimed descent from her, and 
believed that this Ahnenfrau announced to them good 
fortune, or, by her wailing, any misfortune coming to their 
families. She brought evil only to those who spoke evil 
of her. If any one shoots at her the ball enters his own 
heart She appears to poor wandering folk, especially 
children, and guides them to spots where they find heaps 
of gold covered with the flower called 'Forget-me-not' — 
because her gentle voice is heard requesting, as the only 
compensation, that the flowers shall be replaced when the 
gold is removed. The primroses are sacred to her, and 
often are the keys (thence called * key-blossoms ') which 
unlock her treasures. The smallest tribute she repays, — 
even a pebble consecrated to her. Every child ascending 


the Burgeiser Alp places a stone on a certain heap of 
such, with the words, * Here I offer to the wild maidens.* 
These are Bertha's kindly fairies. (When Frederika Bremer 
was with a picnic on the Hudson heights, which Wash- 
ington Irving had peopled with the Spirits he had brought 
from the Rhine, she preferred to pour out her champagne 
as a libation to the * good spirits ' of Germany and Ame- 
rica.) The beautiful White Lady wears a golden chain, 
and glittering keys at her belt ; she appears at mid-day or 
in strong moonlight. In regions where priestly influence 
is strong she is said to be half-black, half-white, and to 
appear sometimes as a serpent. She often helps the weary 
farmer to stack his corn, and sorely-tasked Cinderellas in 
their toil. 

In pre-christian time this amiable goddess— called 
oftenest Bertha (shining) and Mother Rose — was related 
to Wodan as the spring and summer to the storms of 
winter, in which the Wild Huntsman's procession no doubt 
originated. The Northman's experience of seed-time and 
harvest was expressed in the myth of this sweet Rose 
hidden through the winter's blight to rise again in summer. 
This myth has many familiar variants, such as Aschen- 
puttel and Sleeping Beauty ; but it was more particularly 
connected with the later legends of the White Lady, as 
victim of the Wild Huntsman, by the stories of transformed 
princesses delivered by youths. Rescue of the enchanted 
princess is usually effected by three kisses, but she is com- 
pelled to appear before the deliverer in some hideous 
aspect — as toad or serpent ; so that he is repelled or loses 
courage. This is the rose hid under the ugliness of winter. 

When the storm-god Wodan was banished from nature 
altogether and identified with the imported, and naturally 
inconceivable, Satan, he was no more regarded as Frigga's 
rough lord, but as her remorseless foe. She was popularly 


revered as St. Walpurga, the original May Queen, and it 
was believed that happy and industrious children might 
sometimes see her on May-day with long flowing flaxen 
hair, flne shoes, distafl* in hand, and a golden crown on 
her head. But for the nine nights after May-day she was 
relentlessly pursued by the Wild Huntsman and his 
mounted train. There is a picture by G. Watts of the 
hunted lady of Bocaccio's tale, now in the Cosmopolitan 
Club of London, which vividly reproduces the weird im- 
pressiveness of this myth. The White Lady tries to hide 
from her pursuer in standing corn, or gets herself bound 
up in a sheaf. The Wild Huntsman's wrath extends to 
all her retinue, — moss maidens of the wood, or Holtz- 
weibeln. The same belief characterises Waldemar's hunt 
It is a common legend in Denmark that King Volmer 
rode up to some peasants, busy at harvest on Sobjerg 
Hill, and, in reply to his question whether they had seen 
any game, one of the men said — * Something rustled just 
now in yonder standing corn.' The King rushed off", and 
presently a shot was heard. The King reappeared with a 
mermaid lying across his horse, and said as he passed, 
* I have chased her a hundred years, and have her at last' 
He then rode into the hill. In this way Frigga and her 
little people, hunted with the wild creatures, awakened 
sympathy for them. 

The holy friar Eckhardt (who may be taken as a myth 
and type of the Church ad hoc) gained his legendary fame 
by being supposed to go in advance of the Wild Hunts- 
man and warn villagers of his approach ; but as time went 
on and a compromise was effected between the hunting 
Barons and the Church, on the basis that the sports and 
cruelties should be paid for with indulgence-fees, Eckhardt 
had to turn his attention rather to the White Lady. She 
was declared a Wild Huntress, but the epithet slipped to 


other shoulders. The priests identified her ultimately 
with Freija, or Frau Venus ; and Eckhardt was the holy 
hermit who warned young men against her sorceries in 
Venusberg and elsewhere. But Eckhardt never prevailed 
against the popular love of Mother Rose as he had against 
her pursuer ; he only increased the attractions of * Frau 
Venus ' beyond her deserts. In the end it was as much 
as the Church could do to secure for Mary the mantle of 
her elder sister's sanctity. Even then the earlier faith 
was not eradicated. After the altars of Mary had fallen, 
Frigga had vitality enough to hold her own as the White 
Witch who broke the Dark One's spells. It was chiefly 
this helpful Mother-goddess to whom the wretched were 
appealing when they were burnt for witchcraft. 

At Urselberg, Wurtemberg, there is a deep hole called 
the * Nightmaidens' Retreat/ in which are piled the in- 
numerable stones that have been cast therein by persons 
desiring good luck on journeys. These stones correspond 
to the bones of the 11,000 Virgins in St. Ursula's Church 
at Cologne. The White Lady was sainted under her 
name of Ursel (the glowing one), otherwise Horsel. 
Horselberg, near Eisenach, became her haunt as Venus, 
the temptress of Tannhaiisers; Urselberg became her 
retreat as the good fairy mother ; but the attractions of 
herself and her moss-maidens, which the Church wished to 
borrow, were taken on a long voyage to Rome, and there 
transmuted to St. Ursula and her 1 1,000 Virgins. These 
Saints of Cologne encountered their ancient mythical pur- 
suers — ^the Wild Huntsman's train — in those barbarian 
Huns who are said to have slaughtered them all because 
they would not break their vows of chastity. The legend 
is but a variant of Wodan's hunt after the White Lady 
and her maidens. When it is remembered that before her 
transformation by Christianity Ursula was the Hunts- 


man's own wife, Frigga, a quaint incident appears in the 
last meeting between the two. After Wodan had beea 
transfprmed to the Devil, he is said to have made out the 
architectural plan for Cologne Cathedral, and offered it to 
the architect in return for a bond for his soul ; but, having 
weakly allowed him to get possession of the document 
before the bond was signed, the architect drew from under 
his gown a bone of St. Ursula, from which the Devil fled 
in great terror. It was bone of his bone ; but after so 
many mythological vicissitudes Wodan and his Horsel 
could hardly be expected to recognise each other at this 
chance meeting in Cologne. 

( 38i ^ 



The Devil repainted — Satan a divine agent — St. Grain's heresy — 
Primitive universalisnt — Father Sinistrari— Salvation of demons 
— Mediaeval sects — Aquinas — His prayer for Satan — Popular 
antipathies — The Devil's gratitude — Devil defending innocence- 
Devil against idle lords— The wicked ale-wife — Pious offenders 
punished — ^Anachronistic Devils — Devils turn to poems — Devil's 
good advice — Devil sticks to his word — His love of justice — 
Charlemagne and the Serpent — Merlin — His prison of Air — 
Mephistopheles in Heaven. 

The phrase which heads this chapter is a favourite one in 
France. It may have had a euphemistic origin, for the 
giants dreaded by primitive Europeans were too formid- 
able to be lightly spoken of. But within most of the 
period concerning which we have definite knowledge such 
phrases would more generally have expressed the half- 
contemptuous pity with which these huge beings with 
weak intellects were regarded. The Devil imported with 
Christianity was made over, as we have seen, into the 
image of the Dummeteufel, or stupid good-natured giant, 
and he is represented in many legends which show him 
giving his gifts and services for payments of which he is 
constantly cheated. Le Bon Diable in France is some- 
what of this character, and is often taken as the sign of 
tradesmen who wish to represent themselves as lavishing 
their goods recklessly for inadequate compensation. But 
the large accession of demons and devils from the East. 


through Jewish and Moslem channels, of a character far 
from stupid, gave a new sense to that phrase and corre- 
sponding ones. There is no doubt that a very distinct 
reaction in favour of the Devil arose in Europe, and one 
expressive of very interesting facts and forces. The 
pleasant names given him by the masses would alone 
indicate this, — Monsieur De Scelestat, Lord Voland, 
Bliimlin (floweret), Federspiel (gay-plumed), Maitre Ber- 
nard, Maitre Parsin (Parisian). 

The Devil is not so black as he's painted. This proverb 
concerning the long-outlawed Evil One has a respectable 
antiquity, and the feeling underlying it has by no means 
been limited to the vulgar. Even the devout Geoige 
Herbert wrote — 

We paint the Devil black, yet he 
Hath some good in him all agree. 

Robert Burns naively appeals to Old Nick's better 

nature — 

But fare ye weel, auld Nickie-ben I 
O wad ye tak a thought an' men' ! 
Ye aiblins might — I dinna ken — 

Still ha'e a stake ; 
I'm wae to think upon yon den, 

E'en for your sake ! 

It IS hard to destroy the natural sentiments of the 
human heart. However much they may be overlaid by 
the transient exigencies of a creed, their indestructible 
nature is pretty certain to reveal itself. The most orthodox 
supporters of divine cruelty in their own theology will cry 
out against it in another. The saint who is quite satisfied 
that the everlasting torture of Satan or Judas is justice, 
will look upon the doom of Prometheus as a sign of 
heathen heartlessness ; and the burning of one widow for 
a few moments on her husband's pyre will stimulate 
merciful missionary ardour among millions of christians 



whose creed passes the same poor victim to endless tor- 
ture, and half the human race with her. 

It is doubtful whether the general theological conception 
of the functions of Satan is consistent with the belief that 
he is in a state of suffering. As an agent of divine punish- 
ment he is a part of the divine government ; and it is even 
probable that had it not been for the necessity of keeping 
up his office, theology itself would have found some means 
of releasing him and his subordinates from hell, and ulti- 
mately of restoring them to heaven and virtue.* 

It is a legend of the island lona that when St. Columba 
attempted to build a church there, the Devil — «>., the 
same Druid magicians who tried to prevent his landing 
there by tempests — threw down the stones as often as 
they were piled up. An oracle declared that the church 
could arise only after some holy man had been buried 
alive at the spot, and the saint's friend Orain offered him- 
self for the purpose. After Orain had been buried, and 
the wall was rising securely, St. Columba was seized with 
a strong desire to look upon the face of his poor friend 
once more. The wall was pulled down, the body dug up ; 
but instead of Orain being found dead, he sat up and told 

^ In the pre-petrified era of Theology this hope appears to have visited the 
minds of some, Origen for instance. But by many centuries of utilisation the 
Devil became so essential to the throne of Christianity that theologians were 
more ready to spare God from their system than Satan. ' Even the clever 
Madame de Stael/ said Goethe, 'was greatly scandalised that I kept the 
Devil in such good-humour. In the presence of God the Father, she insisted 
upon it, he ought to be more grim and spiteful. What will she say if she sees 
him promoted a step higher, — nay, perhaps, meets him in heaven ? ' Though, 
in another conversation with Falk, Goethe intimates that he had written a 
passage * where the Devil himself receives grace and mercy from God,' the 
artistic theory of his poem could permit no nearer approach to this than those 
closing lines (Faust, II.) in which Mephistppheles reproaches the 'case- 
hardened Devil ' and himself for their mismanagement. To the isolated, the 
not yet humanised, intellect sensuality is evil when senseless, and its hell is 


the assembled christians around him that he had been to 
the other world, and discovered that they were in error 
about various things, — especially about Hell, which really 
did not exist at all. Outraged by this heresy the chris- 
tians immediately covered up Orain again in good earnest 
The resurrection of this primitive universalist of the 
seventh century, and his burial again, may be regarded 
as typifying a dream of the ultimate restoration of the 
universe to the divine sway which has often given signs of 
life through christian history, though many times buried. 
The germ of it is even in PauFs hope that at last ' God 
may be all in all' (i Cor. xv. 28). In Luke x. 17, also, it 
was related that the seventy whom Jesus had sent out 
among the idol-worshipping Gentiles ' returned again with 
joy, saying. Lord, even the devils are subject unto us 
through thy name.' These ideas are recalled in various 
legends, such as that elsewhere related of the Satyr who 
came to St. Anthony to ask his prayers for the salvation 
of his demonic tribe. On the strength of Anthony's 
courteous treatment of that Satyr, the famous Consulteur 
of the Inquisition, Father Sinistrari (seventeenth century), 
rested much of his argument that demons were included 
in the atonement wrought by Christ and might attain 
final beatitude. The Father affirmed that this was implied 
in Christ's words, 'Other sheep I have which are not of 
this flock : them also I must bring, and they shall hear 
my voice ; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd'* 
(John X. 16). That these words were generally supposed 
to refer to the inclusion of the Gentile world was not 
accepted by Sinistrari as impairing his argument, but the 
contrary. He maintained with great ingenuity that the 

^ ' Demonialite,' 60-62, &c. We may hope that this learned man, daring 
his tenure of office under the Inquisition, had some mercy for the poor devils 
dragged before that tribunal. 


salvation of the Gentiles logically includes the salvation 
of their inspiring demons, and that there would not be 
one fold if these aerial beings, whose existence all autho- 
rities attested, were excluded. He even intimates, though 
more timidly, that their father, Satan himself, as a parti- 
cipator in the sin of Adam and sharer of his curse, may 
be included in the general provision of the deity for the en- 
tire and absolute removal of the curse throughout nature. 

Sinistrari's book was placed on the * Index Expurga- 
torius' at Rome in 1709, * donee corrigatur,* eight years 
after the author's death ; it was republished, * correctus,' 
1753. But the fact that such sentiments had occupied 
many devout minds in the Church, and that they had 
reached the dignity of a consistent and scholarly state- 
ment in theology, was proved. The opinion grew out of 
deeper roots than New Testament phrases or the Anthony 
fables. The Church had been for ages engaged in the 
vast task of converting the Gentile world ; in the course 
of that task it had succeeded only by successive sur- 
renders of the impossible principles with which it had 
started. The Prince of this World had been baptized 
afresh with every European throne ascended by the 
Church. Asmodeus had triumphed in the sacramental 
inclusion of marriage; St. Francis d'Assisi, preaching to 
the animals, represented innumerable pious myths which 
had been impossible under the old belief in a universal 
curse resting upon nature. The evolution of this tendency 
may be traced through the entire history of the Church 
in such sects as the Paulicians, Cathari, Bogomiles, and 
others, who, though they again and again formulated 
anew the principle of an eternal Dualism, as often 
revealed some further stage in the progressive advance 
of the christianised mind towards a normal relation with 
nature. Thus the Cathari maintained that only those 

VOL. II. 2 B 


beings who were created by the evil principle would 
remain unrecovered ; those who were created by God, but 
seduced by the Adversary, would be saved after sufficient 
expiation. The fallen angels, they believed, were passing 
through earthly, in some cases animal, bodies to the true 
Church and to heaven. Such views as these were not 
those of the learned, but of the dissenting sects, and they 
prepared ignorant minds in many countries for that 
revival of confidence in their banished deities which made 
the cult of Witchcraft. 

St. Thomas Aquinas, the 'Angelical Doctor,' in his 
famous work ' Summa Theologiae,' maintains that in the 
Resurrection the bodies of the redeemed will rise with all 
their senses and organs, including those of sex, active and 
refined. The authentic affirmation of that doctrine in the 
thirteenth century was of a significance far beyond the 
comprehension of the Church, Aquinas confused the lines 
between flesh and spirit, especially by admitting sex into 
heaven. The Devil could not be far behind. The true 
interpretation of his doctrine is to be found in the legend 
that Aquinas passed a night in prayer for the salvation 
and restoration of the Devil. This legend is the subject 
of a modern poem so fraught with the spirit of the mediae- 
val heart, pining in its dogmatic prison, that I cannot 
forbear quoting it here : — 

All day Aquinas sat alone ; 

Compressed he sat and spoke no word, 

As still as any man of stone, 

In streets where never voice is heard ; 

With massive front and air antique 

He sat, did neither move or speak, 

For thought like his seemed words too weak. 

The shadows brown about him lay ; 
From sunrise till the sun went out, 
Had sat alone that man of grey, 
That marble man, hard crampt by doubt ; 


Some kingly problem had he found, 
Some new belief not wholly sound, 
Some hope that overleapt all bound. 

All day Aquinas sat alone, 

No answer to his question came, 

And now he rose with hollow groan, 

And eyes that seemed half love, half flame. 

On the bare floor he flung him down. 

Pale marble face, half smile, half frown. 

Brown shadow else, mid shadows brown. 

* O God,' he said, ' it cannot be, 

Thy Morning-star, with endless moan. 
Should lift his fading orbs to thee, 
And thou be happy on thy throne. 
It were not kind, nay, Father, nay, 
It were not just, O God, I say, 
Pray for thy Lost One, Jesus, pray ! 

* How can thy kingdom ever come. 
While the fair angels howl below ? 
All holy voices would be dumb. 
All loving eyes would fill with woe, 
To think the lordliest Peer of Heaven, 
The starry leader of the Seven, 
Would never, never, be forgiven. 

* Pray for thy Lost One, Jesus, pray ! 

O Word that made thine angel speak ! . 
Lord ! let thy pitying tears have way ; 
Dear God ! not man alone is weak. 
What is created still must fall. 
And fairest still we frailest call ; 
Will not Christ's blood avail for all ? 

* Pray for thy Lost One, Jesus, pray ! 
O Father ! think upon thy child ; 
Turn from thy own bright world away. 
And look upon that dungeon wild. 

O God ! O Jesus ! see how dark 

That den of woe ! O Saviour ! mark 

How angels weep, how groan ! Hark, hark ! 


* He will not, will not do it more. 
Restore him to his throne again ; 
Oh, open wide that dismal door 
Which presses on the souls in pain. 
So men and angels all will say, 
'Our God is good.' Oh, day by day, 
Pray for thy Lost One, Jesus, pray ! ' 

All night Aquinas knelt alone, 
Alone with black and dreadful Night, 
Until before his pleading moan 
The darkness ebbed away in light. 
Then rose the saint, and ' God,' said he, 
' If darkness change to light with thee, 
The Devil may yet an angel be.' ^ 

While this might be the feeling of devout philosophers 
whose minds were beginning to form a conception of a 
Cosmos in which the idea of a perpetual empire of Evil 
could find no place, the humble and oppressed masses, as 
we have seen in the chapter on Witchcraft, were familiaris- 
ing their minds with the powers and glories of a Satan 
in antagonism to the deities and saiQts of the Church. 
It was not a penitent devil supplicating for pardon whom 
they desired, but the veritable Prince of the World, to 
whom as well as to themselves their Christian oppressors 
were odious. They invested the Powers which the priests 
pronounced infernal with those humanly just and genial 
qualities that had been discarded by ecclesiastical ambi- 
tion. The legends which must be interpreted in this 
sense are very numerous, and a few of the most character- 
istic must suffice us here. The habit of attributing every 
mishap to the Devil was rebuked in many legends. One 
of these related that when a party were driving over a 
rough road the waggon broke down and one of the 
company exclaimed, ' This is a bit of the Devil's work ! ' 

1 'Reverberations.' By W. M. W. Call, M.A., Cambridge. Second 
Edition. Triibner & Co., 1876. 


A gentleman present said, ' It is a bit of corporation work. 
I don't believe in saddling the Devil with all the bad roads 
and bad axles/ Some time after, when this second speaker 
was riding over the same road alone, an old gentleman in 
black met him, and having thanked him for his defence of 
the Devil, presented him with a casket of splendid jewels. 
Very numerous are legends of the Devil's apparition to 
assist poor architects and mechanics unable to complete 
their contracts, even carving beautiful church pillars and 
the like for them, and this sometimes without receiving any 
recompense. The Devil's apparition in defence of accused 
innocence is a well-known feature of European folklore. 
On one occasion a soldier, having stopped at a certain inn, 
confided to the innkeeper some money he had for safe- 
keeping, and when he was about to leave the innkeeper 
denied having received the deposit. The soldier battered 
down the door, and the neighbours of the innkeeper, a 
prominent man in the town, put him in prison, where he 
lay in prospect of suffering death for an attempted burglary. 
The poor soldier, being a stranger without means, was 
unable to obtain counsel to defend him. When the parties 
appeared before the magistrate, a smart young lawyer, with 
blue hat and white feathers, unknown in the town, volun- 
teered to defend the soldier, and related the whole story 
with such effect that the innkeeper in his excitement cried, 
'Devil take me if I have the money!' Instantly the 
smart lawyer spread his wings, and, seizing the innkeeper, 
disappeared with him through the roof of the court-room. 
The innkeeper's wife, struck with horror, restored the 
money. In an Altmark version of this story the Devil 
visits the prisoner during the* previous night and asks for 
his soul as fee, but the soldier refuses, saying he had 
rather die. Despite this the Devil intervened. It was an 
old-time custom in Denmark for courts to sit with an open 


window, in order that the Devil might more easily fly away 
with the perjurer. 

Always a democrat, the Devil is said in many stories 
to have interfered in favour of the peasant or serf against 
the noble. On one occasion he relieved a certain district 
of all its arrogant and idle noblemen by gathering them 
up in a sack and flying away with them ; but unhappily, 
as he was passing over the town of Friesack, his sack 
came in collision with the church steeple, and through 
the hole so torn a large number of noble lords fell into 
the town — which thence derived its name — and there they 

remained to be patrons of the steeple and burthens on 
the people. 

The Devil was universally regarded as a Nemesis on all 
publicans and ale-wives who adulterated the beer they 
dealt out to the people, or gave short measures. At 
Reetz, in Altmark, the legend of an ale-wife with whom 
he flew away is connected with a stone on which they are 
said to have rested, and the villagers see thereon prints 
of the Devil's hoof and the woman's feet. This was a 


favourite theme of old English legends. The accompany- 
ing Figure (23), one of the misereres in Ludlow parish 
church, Shropshire, represents the end of a wicked ale- 
wife. A devil on one side reads the long list of her 
shortcomings, and on the other side hell-mouth is receiving 
other sinners. A devil with bagpipe welcomes her arrival. 
She carries with her only her fraudulent measure and the 
fashionable head-dress paid for out; of its wicked gains. 

In a marionette performance which I witnessed at 
Tours, the accusations brought against the tradesmen 
who cheated the people were such as to make one wish 
that the services of some equally strict devil could be 
secured by the authorities of all cities, to detect adul- 
terators and dealers in false weights and measures. The 
same retributive agency, in the popular interest, was 
ascribed to the Devil in his attitude towards misers. 
There being no law which could reach men whose 
hoarded wealth brought no good to themselves or others, 
such were deemed proper cases for the interposition of 
the Devil. There is a significant contrast between the 
legends favoured by the Church and those of popular 
origin. The former, made prominent in frescoes, often 
show how, at the weighing of souls, the sinner is saved by 
a saint or angel, or by some instance of service to the 
Church being placed in the scale against the otherwise 
heavier record of evil deeds. A characteristic legend is 
that which is the subject of the frescoes in the portico 
of St. Lorenzo Church at Rome (thirteenth century). St. 
Lawrence sees four devils passing his hermitage, and 
learns from them that they are going for the soul of 
Henry IL In the next scene, when the wicked Count is 
weighed, the scroll of his evil deeds far outweighs that of 
his good actions, until the Saint casts into the scale a 
chalice which the prince had once given to his church. 


For that one act Henry's soul ascends to paradise amid 
the mortification of the Devils. Though Charles Martel 
saved Europe from Saracen sway, he once utilised epis- 
copal revenues for relief of the state; consequently a 
synod declares him damned, a saint sees him in hell, a 
sulphurous dragon issues from his grave. On the other 
hand, the popular idea of the fate of distinguished sinners 
may be found hid under misereres, where kings sometimes 
appear in Hell, and in the early picture-books which con- 
tained a half-christianised folklore. 

It has been observed that the early nature-deities, 
reflecting the evil and good of nature, in part through 
the progress of human thought and ideality, and through 
new ethnical rivalries, were degraded into demons. They 
then represented the pains, obstructions, and fears in 
nature. We have seen that as these apparent external 
evils were vanquished or better understood, the demons 
passed to the inward nature, and represented a new series 
of pains, obstructions, and fears. But these, too, were in 
part vanquished, or better understood. Still more, they 
so changed their forms that the ancient demons-turned- 
devils were no longer sufficiently expressive to repre- 
sent them. Thus we find that the Jews, mohammedans, 
and christians did not find their several special antagonists 
impressively represented by either Satan, Iblis, or Beelze- 
bub. Each, therefore, personified its foe in accordance 
with later experiences — an Opponent called Armillus, 
Aldajjail, Antichrist (all meaning the same thing), in whom 
all other devils were merged. 

As to their spirit ; but as to their forms they shrank in 
size and importance, and did duty in small ways. We 
have seen how great dragons were engaged in frightening 
boys who fished on Sundays, or oppressive squires ; how 
Satan presided over wine-casks, or was adapted to the 


punishment of profanity ; how hosts of once tremendous 
fiends turned into the grotesque little forms which Callot, 
truly copying the popular notions around him, painted 
as motley imps disturbing monks at their prayers. Such 
diminutions of the devils correspond .to a parallel process 
among the gods and goddesses, by which they were changed 
to 'little people ' or fairies. In both cases the transforma- 
tion is an expression of popular disbelief in their reality. 

But revivals took place. The fact of evil is permanent ; 
and whenever the old chains of fear, after long rusting, 
finally break, there follows an insurrection against the 
social and moral order which alarms the learned and the 
pious. These see again the instigations of evil powers, 
and it takes form in the imagination of a Dante, a Luther, 
a Milton. But when these new portraits of the Devil are 
painted, it is with so much contemporary colouring that 
they do not answer to the traditional devils preserved in 
folklore. Dante's Worm does not resemble the serpent of 
fable, nor does Milton's Satan answer to the feathered 
clown of Miracle Plays. Thus, behind the actual evils 
which beset any time, there stands an array of grand dia- 
bolical names, detached from present perils, on which the 
popular fancy may work without really involving any 
theory of Absolute Evil at all. Were starry Lucifer 
to be restored to his heavenly sphere, he would be one 
great brand plucked from the burning, but the burn- 
ing might still go on. Theology itself had filled the 
world with other devils by diabolising all the gods and 
goddesses of rival religions, and the compassionate heart 
was thus left free to select such forms or fair names as 
preserved some remnant of ancient majesty around them, 
or some ray from their once divine halo, and pray or hope 
for their pardon and salvation. Fallen foes, no longer 
able to harm, can hardly fail to awaken pity and clemency. 



With the picture of Dives and Lazarus presented else- 
where (vol. i. p. 281) maybe instructively compared the 
accompanying scene of a rich man's death-bed (Fig. 24), 
taken from * Ars Moriendi/ one of the early block-books. 
This picture is very remarkable from the suggestion it 
contains of an opposition between a devil on the dying 
man's right and the hideous dragon on his left. While 
the dragon holds up a scroll, bidding him think of his 

* Fig. 24. — A Mbdiaval Dbath-bkd. 

treasure {Yniende thesauro\ the Devil suggests provision 
for his friends (Provideas amicis). This devil seems to be 
a representative of the rich man's relatives who stand near, 
and appears to be supported by his ugly superior, who 
points towards hell as the penalty of not making such pro- 
vision as is suggested. There would appear to be in this 
picture a vague distinction between the mere bestial fiend 
who tempts, and the ugly but good-natured devil who 
punishes, and whom rich sinners cannot escape by bequests 
to churches. 

One of the most notable signs of the appearance of * the 


good Devil * was the universal belief that he invariably 
stuck to his word. In all European folklore there is no 
instance of his having broken a promise. In this respect 
his reputation stands far higher than that of the christians, 
seeing that it was a boast of the saints that, following the 
example of their godhead, who outwitted Satan in the 
bargain for man's redemption, they were continually 
cheating the Devil by technical quibbles. There is a 
significant saying found among Prussian and Danish 
peasants, that you may obtain a thing by calling on 
Jesus, but if you would be sure of it you must call on 
the Devil ! The two parties were judged by their repre- 

One of the earliest legendary compacts with the Devil 
was that made by St. Theophilus in the sixth century; 
when he became alarmed and penitent, the Virgin Marj*" 
managed to trick Satan out of the fatal bond. The 
* Golden Legend * of Jacobus de Voragine tells why Satan 
was under the necessity of demanding in every case a 
bond signed with blood. *The christians,' said Satan, 
' are cheats ; they make all sorts of promises so long as 
they want me, and then leave me in the lurch, and recon- 
cile themselves with Christ so soon as, by my help, they 
have got what they want.' 

Even apart from the consideration of possessing the 
soul, the ancient office of Satan as legal prosecutor of souls 
transmitted, to the latest forms into which he was modified, 
this character for justice. Many mediaeval stories report 
his gratitude whenever he is treated with justice, though 
some of these are disguised by connection with other 
demonic forms. Such is the case with the following 
romance concerning Charlemagne. 

When Charlemagne dwelt at Zurich, in the house com- 
monly called 'Zum Loch,' he had a column erected to 


which a bell was attached by a rope. Any one that 
demanded justice could ring this bell when the king was 
at his meals. It happened one day that the bell sounded, 
but when the servants went to look no one was there. 
It continued ringing, so the Emperor commanded them to 
go again and find out the cause. They now remarked 
that an enormous serpent approached the rope and pulled 
it. Terrified, they brought the news to the Emperor, who 
immediately rose in order to administer justice to beast as 
well as man. After the reptile had respectfully inclined 
before the emperor, it led him to the banks of the river 
and showed him, sitting upon its nest and eggs, an enor- 
mous toad. Charlemagne having examined the case 
decided thus : — The toad was condemned to be burnt and 
justice shown to the serpent. The verdict was no sooner 
given than it was accomplished. A few days after the 
snake returned to court, bowed low to the King, crept 
upon the table, took the cover from a gold goblet standing 
there, dropped into it a precious stone, bowed again and 
crept away. On the spot where the serpent's nest had 
been, Charlemagne built a church called * Wasserkelch.' 
The stone he gave to his much-loved spouse. This stone 
possessed the power of making the owner especially loved 
by the Emperor, so that when absent from his queen he 
mourned and longed for her. She, well aware that if it 
came into other hands the Emperor would soon forget her, 
put it under her tongue in the hour of death. The queen 
was buried with the stone, but Charlemagne could not 
separate himself from the body, so had it exhumed, and 
for eighteen years carried it about with him wherever he 
went. In the meantime, a courtier who had heard of the 
secret virtue of the stone, searched the corpse, and at last 
found the stone hidden under the tongue, and took it 
away and concealed it on his own person. Immediately 

MERLIN. 397 

the Emperor's love for his wife turned to the courtier, whom 
he now scarcely permitted out of his sight. At Cologne 
the courtier in a fit of anger threw the stone into a hot 
spring, and since then no one has succeeded in finding 
it. The love the Emperor had for the knight ceased, but 
he felt himself wonderfully attracted to the place where 
the stone lay hidden. On this spot he founded Aix-la- 
Chapelle, his subsequent favourite place of residence. 

It is not wonderful that the tradition should arise at Aix, 
founded by the human hero of this romance, that the plan 
of its cathedral was supplied by the Devil; but it is charac- 
teristic there should be associated with this legend an 
example of how he who as a serpent was awarded justice 
by Charlemagne was cheated by the priests of Aix. The 
Devil gave the design on condition that he was to have 
the first who entered the completed cathedral, and a 
wolf was goaded into the structure in fulfilment of the 
contract ! 

In the ancient myth and romaunt of * Merlin * may be 
found the mediaeval witness to the diabolised religion of 
Britain. The emasculated saints of the South-east could 
not satisfy the vigorous race in the North-west, and when 
its gods were outlawed as devils they brought the chief 
of them back, as it were, had him duly baptized and set 
about his old work in the form of Merlin I Here, side 
by side with the ascetic Jesus brought by Gatien and 
Augustin, was a Northern Christ, son of an Arch-incubus, 
born of a Virgin, baptized in the shrunken Jordan of a 
font, performing miracles, summoning dragons to his aid, 
overcoming Death and Hell in his way, brought before his 
Pilate but confounding him, throning and dethroning kings, 
and leading forth, on the Day of Pentecost, an army whose 
knights are inspired by Guenever's kisses in place of flam- 
ing tongues. How Merlin * went about doing good,' after 


the Northman's ideal of such work ; how he saved the life 
of his unwedded mother by proving that her child (him- 
self) was begotten by a devil without her knowledge ; how, 
as a child, he exposed at once the. pretension of the magis- 
trate to high birth and the laxity of his lady and his parison ; 
how he humiliated the priestly astrologers of Vortigem, and 
prophesied the destruction of that usurper just as it came 
to pass; how he served Uther during his seven years' 
reign, and by enabling him to assume the shape of the 
Duke of Cornwall and so enjoy the embraces of the 
Duchess Igerna, secured the birth of Arthur and hope of 
the Sangr^al;^ how he defended Arthur's legitimacy of 
birth and assisted him in causing illegitimate births ; and 
how at last he was bound by his own spells, wielded by 
Vivien, in a prison of air where he now remains ; — this was 
the great mediaeval gospel of a baptized christian Anti- 
christ which superseded the imported kingdom not of this 

Merlin was the Good Devil, but baptism was a fatal 
Vivien-spell to him. He still dwells in all the air which 
is breathed by Anglo-Saxon men, — an ever-expanding 
prison ! Whether the Briton is transplanted in America, 
India, or Africa, he still carries with him the Sermon on 
the Mount as inspired by his baptized Prince of the Air, 
and his gospel of the day is, * If thine enemy hunger, 
starve him ; if he thirst, give him fire ; if he hate you, heap 
melted lead on his head ! ' Such remains the soul of the 
greatest race, under the fatal spell of a creed that its 
barbarism needs only baptism to be made holiness and 

^ The Holy Grail was believed to have been fashioned from the largest of 
all diamonds, lost from the crown of Satan as he fell from Heaven. Guarded 
by angels until used at the Last Supper, it was ultimately secured by Arthur's 
knight, Percival, and — such is the irony of mythology — ^indirectly by the aid 
of Satan's own son. Merlin ! 


In the reign of George II., when Lord Bute and a 
Princess of easy virtue were preying on England, and 
fanatical preachers were directing their donkeys to heaven 
beside the conflagration of John Bull's house, the eye of 
Hogarth at least (as is shown in our Figure 25, from his 
' Raree Show ') was able to see what the baptized Merlin 
had become in his realm of Air, The otherworldly-Devil is 

serpent- legged Hypocrisy. The Nineteenth Century has 
replaced Merlin by Mephistopheles, the Devil who, despite 
a cloven foot, steps firmly on earth, and means the power 
that wit and culture can bring against the baptized giant 
Force. Him the gods fear not, even look upon with satis- 
faction. In the ' Prologue in Heaven,' of Goethe's * Faust,' 
the Lord is even more gracious to Mephistopheles than the 


Jehovah of Job was to Satan. *The like of thee have 
never moved my hate,* he says — 

Man's active nature, flagging, seeks too soon the level ; 
Unqualified repose he learns to crave ; 
Whence, willingly, the comrade him I gave. 
Who works, excites, and must create, as DeviL 

This is but a more modern expression of the rabbinical 
fable, already noted, that when the first man was formed 
there were beside him two Spirits, — one on the right that 
remained quiescent, another on the left who ever moved 
restlessly up and down. When the first sin was com- 
mitted, he of the left was changed to a devil. But he still 
meant the progressive, inquiring nature of man. * The 
Spirit I, that evermore denies,' says the Mephistopheles 
of Goethe. How shall man learn truth if he know not the 
Spirit that denies ? How shall he advance if he know not 
the Spirit of discontent ? This restless spirit gains through 
his ignorance a cloven hoof, — ^a divided movement, some- 
times right, sometimes wrong. From his selfishness it 
acquires a double tongue. But both hoof and serpent- 
tongue are beneath the evolutional power of experience ; 
they shall be humanised to the foot that marches firmly 
on earth, and the tongue that speaks truth ; and, the 
baptismal spell broken, Merlin shall descend, bringingr 
to man's aid all his sharp-eyed dragons transformed to 
beautiful Arts. 

( 401 ) 



Celsus on Satan — Ferocities of inward nature — The Devil of Lust — 
Celibacy — Blue Beards — Shudendozi— A lady in distress — Bahi- 
rawa — The Black Prince — Madana Yaksenyo— Fair fascinators — 
Devil of Jealousy — Eve's jealousy— Noah's wife — How Satan 
entered the Ark — Shipwrights' Dirge — The Second Fall — ^The 
Drunken curse — Solomon's Fall — Cellar Devils — Gluttony — The 
Vatican haunted — Avarice — Animalised Devils — Man-shaped 

' The christians/ said Celsus, ' dream of some antagonist 
to God — a devil, whom they call Satanas, who thwarted 
God when he wished to benefit mankind. The Son of 
God suffered death from Satanas, but they tell us we are 
to defy him, and to bear the worst he can do ; Satanas 
will come again and work miracles, and pretend to be 
God, but we are not to believe him. The Greeks tell of a 
war among the gods ; army against army, one led by 
Saturn, and one by Ophincus ; of challenges and battles ; 
the vanquished falling into the ocean, the victors reigning 
in heaven. In the Mysteries we have the rebellion of the 
Titans, and the fables of Typhon, and florus, and Osiris. 
The story of the Devil plotting against man is stranger 
than either of these. The Son of God is injured by the 
Devil, and charges us to fight against him at our peril. 
Why not punish the Devil instead of threatening poor 
wretches whom he deceives ?' ^ 

^ See Mr. J. A. Froude's article in ' Fraser's Magazine,' Feb. 1878, < Origen 
and Celsus.' 

VOL. II. 2 C 


The christians comprehended as little as their critic 
that story they brought, stranger than all the legends of 
besieged deities, of a Devil plotting against man. Yet a 
little historic perspective makes the situation simple : the 
gods had taken refuge in man, therefore the attack was 
transferred to man. 

Priestly legends might describe the gods as victorious 
over the Titans, the wild forces of nature, but the people, 
to their sorrow, knew better ; the priests, in dealing with 
the people, showed that they also knew the victory to be 
on the other side. A careful writer remarks: — 'When 
these (Greek) divinities are in any case appealed to with 
unusual seriousness, their nature-character reappears. . . . 
When Poseidon hesitates to defer to the positive com- 
mands of Zeus (II. xix. 259), Iris reminds him that there 
are the Erinnyes to be reckoned with (II. xv. 204), and he 
gives in at once.^ The Erinnyes represent the steady 
supremacy of the laws and forces of nature over all per- 
sonifications of them. Under uniform experience man 
had come to recognise his own moral autocracy in his 
world. He looked for incarnations, and it was a hope 
born of an atheistic view of external nature. This was 
the case not only with the evolution of Greek religion, but 
in that of every religion. 

When man's hope was thus turned to rest upon man, he 
found that all the Titans had followed him. Ophincus 
(Ophion) had passed through Ophiomorphus to be a Man 
of Sin ; and this not in one, but by corresponding forms 
in every line of religious development. The ferocities 
of outward nature appeared with all their force in man, 
and renewed their power with the fine armoury of his intel- 
ligence. He must here contend with tempests of passion, 
stony selfishness, and the whole animal creation nestling 

A Mr. W. W. Uoyd's * Age of Pericles,' vol. ii. p. 202. 


in heart and brain, prowling still, though on two feet. The 
theory of evolution is hardly a century old as science, but 
it is an ancient doctrine of Religion. The fables of Pilpay 
and iEsop represent an early recognition of 'survivals.' 
Recurrence to original types was recognised as a mystical 
phenomenon in legends of the bandit turned wolf, and 
other transformations. One of the oldest doctrines of 
Eschatolog^ is represented in the accompanying picture 
(Fig. 26), from Thebes, of two dog-headed apes ferrying 
over to Hades a gluttonous soul that has been weighed 
before Osiris, and assigned his appropriate form. n 

The devils of Lust are so innumerable that several 
volumes would be required to enumerate the legends and 

Fig. 26.— A Soul's Doom (Wilkinson). 

superstitions connected with them. But, fortunately for 
my reader and myself, these, more than any other class of 
phantoms, are very slight modifications of the same form. 
The innumerable phallic deities, the incubi and succubae, 
are monotonous as the waves of the ocean, which might 
fairly typify the vast, restless, and stormy expanse of sexual 
nature to which they belong. 

In * The Golden Legend ' there is a pleasant tale of a 
gentleman who, having fallen into poverty, went into soli- 
tude, and was there approached by a chevalier in black, 
mounted on a fine horse. This knight having inquired 
the reason of the other's sadness, promised him that, if he 
would return home, he would find at a certain place vast 


sums of gold ; but this was on condition that he should 
bring his beautiful wife to that solitary spot in exactly a 
year's time. The gentleman, having lived in greater splen- 
dour than ever during the year, asked his wife to ride out 
with him on the appointed day. She was very pious, and 
having prayed to the Virgin, accompanied her husband to 
the spot There the gentleman in black met them, but 
only to tremble* * Perfidious man ! ' he cried, * is it thus 
you repay my benefits ? I asked you to bring your wife, 
and you have brought me the Mother of God, who will 
send me back to hell!' The Devil having vanished, the 
gentleman fell on his knees before the Virgin. He re- 
turned home to find his wife sleeping quietly. 

Were we to follow this finely-mounted gentleman in 
black, we should be carried by no uncertain steps 
back to those sons of God who took unto themselves 
wives of the daughters of men, as told in Genesis ; and 
if we followed the Virgin, we should, by less certain 
but yet probable steps, discover her prototype in Eve 
before her fall, virginal as she was meant to remain so 
far as man was concerned. In the chapters relating to 
the Eden myth and its personages, I have fully given my 
reasons for believing that the story of Eve, the natural 
childlessness of Sarah, and the immaculate conception by 
Mary, denote, as sea-rocks sometimes mark the former 
outline of a coast, a primitive theory of celibacy in con- 
nection with that of a divine or Holy Family. It need 
only be added here that this impossible ideal in its prac- 
tical development was effectual in restraining the sexual 
passions of mankind. Although the reckless proclama- 
tion of the wild nature-gods (Elohim), *Be fruitfiil and 
multiply/ has been accepted by christian bibliolators as 
the command of Jehovah, and philanthropists are even 
punished for suggesting means of withstanding the effects 


of nuptial licentiousness, yet they are farther from even 
the letter of the Bible than those protestant celibates, 
the American Shakers, who discard the sexual relation 
altogether. The theory of the Shakers that the functions 
of sex ' belong to a state of nature, and are inconsistent 
with a state of grace,' as one of their members in Ohio 
stated it to me, coincides closely with the rabbinical 
theory that Adam and Eve, by their sin, fell to the lowest 
of seven earthly spheres, and thus came within the in- 
fluence of the incubi and succubae, by their union with 
whom the world was filled with the demonic races, or 

It is probable that the fencing-off of Eden, the founding 
of the Abrahamic household and family, and the com- 
mand against adultery, were defined against that system 
of rape — or marriage by capture — which prevailed among 
the ' sons of Elohim,' who saw the ' daughters of men that 
they were fair,' and followed the law of their eyes. The 
older rabbins were careful to preserve the distinction 
between the Bene Elohim and the Ischim, and it ultimately 
amounted to that between Jews and Gentiles. 

The suspicion of a devil lurking behind female beauty 
thus begins. The devils love beauty, and the beauties 
love admiration. These are perils in the constitution of 
the family. But there are other legends which report the 
frequency with which woman was an unwilling victim of 
the lustful Anakim or other powerful lords. Throughout 
the world are found legends of beautiful virgins sacrificed 
to powerful demons or deities. These are sometimes so 
realistic as to suggest the possibility that the fair captives 
of savage chieftains may indeed have been sometimes 
victims of their Ogre's voracity as well as his lust. At 
any rate, cruelty and lust are nearly related. The Blue 
Beard myth opens out horrible possibilities. 


One of the best-known legends in Japan is that con- 
cerning the fiend Shudendozi, who derives his name 
from the two characteristics of possessing the face of a 
child and being a heavy drinker. The child-face is so 
emphasised in the stories that one may suspect either 
that his fair victims were enticed to his stronghold by 
his air of innocence, or else that there is some hint as 
to maternal longings in the fable. 

At the beginning of the eleventh century, when Ichijo II. 
was Emperor, lived the hero Yorimitsa. In those days the 
people of Kiyoto were troubled by an evil spirit which 
abode near the Rasho Gate. One night, when merry with 
his companions, Ichijo said, ' Who dare go and defy the 
demon of the Rasho Gate, and set up a token that he has 
been there?' * That dare I,' answered Tsu ma, who, hav- 
ing donned his mail, rode out in the bleak night to the 
Rasho Gate. Having written his name on the gate, 
returning, his horse shivers with fear, and a huge hand 
coming out of the gate seized the knight's helmet. He 
struggled in vain. He then cuts off the demon's arm, and 
the demon flies howling. Tsuma takes the demon's arm 
home, and locks it in a box. One night the demon, hav- 
ing the shape of Tsuma's aunt, came and said, ' I pray 
you show me the arm of the fiend.' ' I will show it to no 
man, and yet to thee will I show it,' replied he. When 
the box is opened a black cloud enshrouds the aunt, and 
the demon disappears with the arm. Thereafter he is more 
troublesome than ever. The demon carried off the fairest 
virgins of Kiyoto, ravished and ate them, no beauty being 
left in the city. The Emperor commands Yorimitsa to 
destroy him. The hero, with four trusty knights and a 
great captain, went to the hidden places of the mountains. 
They fell in with an old man, who invited them into his 
dwelling, and gave them wine to drink ; and when they were 


going he presented them with wine. This old man was a 
mountain-god. As they proceeded they met a beautiful 
lady washing blood from garments in a valley, weepii^ 
bitterly. In reply to their inquiries she said the demon 
had carried her off and kept her to wash his clothes, mean- 
ing when weary of her to cat her. ' I pray your lordships 
to help me I ' The six heroes bid her lead them to the 
ogre's cave. One hundred devils mounted guard before it. 

Fig. 17.— CnuiLTv AND Lu«T (Jipmete). 

The woman first went in and told him they had come. The 
ogre called them in, meaning to eat them. Then they saw 
Shudendozi.a monster with the face of a little child. They 
offered him wine, which flew to his head : he becomes 
merry and steeps, and his head is cut ofT, The head leaps 
up and tries to bite Yorimitsa, but he had on two helmets. 
When all the devils are slain, he brings the head of 
Shudendozi to the Emperor. In a similar story of the 
same country the lustful ogre by no means possesses 


Shudendozi's winning visage, as may be seen by the popu- 
lar representation of him (Fig. 27), with a knight's hand 
grasping his throat 

A Singhalese demon of like class is Bahirawa, who takes 
his name from the hill of the same name, towering over 
Kandy, in which he is supposed to reside. The legend 
runs that the astrologers told a king whose queen was 
afflicted by successive miscarriages, that she would never 
be delivered of a healthy child unless a virgin was sacrificed 
annually on the top of this hill. This being done, several 
children were borne to him. When his queen was ad- 
vanced in years the king discontinued this observance, and 
consequently many diseases fell upon the royal family and 
the city, after which the annual sacrifice was resumed, and 
continued until 18 15, when the English occupied Kandy. 
The method of the sacrifice was to bind a young girl to a 
stake on the top of the hill with jungle-creepers. Beside 
her, on an altar, were placed boiled rice and flowers; 
incantations were uttered, and the girl left, to be generally 
found dead of fright in the morning. An old woman, 
who in early years had undergone this ordeal, survived, 
and her safety no doubt co-operated with English autho- 
rity to diminish the popular fear of Bahirawa, but still few 
natives would be found courageous enough to ascend the 
hill at night. 

One of the lustful demons of Ceylon is Calu Cumara, 
that is, the Black Prince. He is supposed to have seven 
different apparitions, — prince of fire, of flowers, of groves, 
of graves, of eye-ointments, of the smooth body, and of 
sexuality. The Saga says he was a Buddhist priest, who 
by exceeding asceticism and accumulated merits had gained 
the power to fly, but passion for a beautiful woman caused 
him to fall. By disappointment in the love for which he 
had parted with so much his heart was broken, and he 


became a demon. In this condition he is for ever tortured 
by the passion of lustful desire, the only satisfaction of 
which he can obtain being to afflict young and fair 
women with illness. He is a very dainty demon, and can 
be soothed if great care is taken in the offerings made 
to him, which consist of rice of finest quality, plantains, 
sugar-cane, oranges, cocoa-nuts, and cakes. He is of 
dark-blue complexion and his raiment black. 

In Singhalese demonolatry there are seven female 
demons of lust, popularly called the Madana Yaksenyo. 
These sisters are — Cama (lust) ; Cini (fire) ; Mohanee 
(ignorance) ; Rutti (pleasure) ; Cala (maturity) ; Mai 
(flowers) ; Puspa (perfumes). They are the abettors 
of seduction, and are invoked in the preparation of 

' It were well,' said Jason to Medea, * that the female 

race should not exist ; then would there not have been 

any evil among men/^ The same sentiment is in 

Milton — 

Oh why did God, 
Creator wise, that peopled highest heaven 
With spirits masculine, create at last 
This novelty on earth, this fair defect 
Of nature, and not fill the world at once 
With men, as angels, without feminine ? ' 

Many traditions preceded this ungallant creed, some 
of which have been referred to in our chapters on Lilith 
and Eve. Corresponding to these are the stories related 
by Herodotus of the overthrow of the kingdom of the 
Heraclidae and freedom of the Greeks, through the re- 
venge of the Queen, * the most beautiful of women,' upon 
her husband Candaules for having contrived that Gyges 

1 Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the R. A. S., 1865-6 : Art. on ' Demon- 
ology and Witchcraft in Ceylon,' hy Dundris de Silva Gooneratne Modliar. 
* Euripides, * Medea,' 574. • * Paradise Lost,' x. 860. 


should see her naked. Candaules having been slain by 

Gyges at the instigation of the Queen, and married her, 

the Fates decreed that their crime should be punished on 

their fifth descendant The overthrow was by Cyrus, and 

it was associated with another woman, Mandane, daughter 

of the tyrant Astyages, mother of Cyrus, who is thus, as 

the Madonna, to bruise the head of the serpent who had 

crept into the Greek Paradise,^ The Greeks of Fontus 

also ascribed the origin of the Scythian race, the scourge 

of all nations, to a serpent-woman, who, having stolen 

away the mareswhich Herakles had captured from Gergon, 

refused to restore them except on condition of having 

children by him. From the 

union of Herakles with this 

' half virgin, half viper,' sprang 

three sons, of whom the 

youngest was Scythes. 

Not only are feminine 
seductiveness and liability to 
seduction represented in the 
legends of female demons 
and devils, but quite as much 
the jealousy of that sex. If 
the former were weaknesses 
which might overthrow king- 
doms, the latter was a species 

Fig. aS.— jBAtousvU'P»'>'«)- 

of animalism which could 
devastate the home and society. Although jealousy is 
sometimes regarded as venial, if not indeed a sign of true 
love, it is an outcome of the animal nature. The Japanese 
have shown a true observation of nature in portraying 
their female Oni (devil) of jealousy (Fig. 28) with sharp 
erect horns and bristling hair. The raising 'of the oma- 
* H«Todotiu, 'Clio,' 7-14, 91. 

NO Airs WIFE. 411 

mental plumes by many birds during their courtship/ 
mentioned by Mr. Darwin, is the more pleasing aspect of 
that emotion which, blending with fear and rage, puffs out 
the lizard's throat, ruffles the cock's neck, and raises the 
hair of the insane.^ 

An ancient legend mingles jealousy with the myth of 
Eden at every step. Rabbi Jarchi says that the serpent 
was jealous of Adam's connubial felicity, and a passage in 
Josephus shows that this was an ancient opinion. The 
jealousy of Adam's^ second wife felt by his first (Lilith) 
was by many said to be the cause of her conspiracy with 
the serpent. The most beautiful mediaeval picture of her 
that I have seen was in an illuminated Bible in Strasburg, 
in which, with all her wealth of golden hair and her 
beauty, Lilith holds her mouth, with a small rosy apple 
in it, towards Adam. Eve seems to snatch it. Then 
there is an old story that when Eve had eaten the apple 
she saw the angel of death, and urged Adam to eat the 
fruit also, in order that he might not become a widower. 

It is remarkable that there should have sprung up a 
legend that Satan made his second attack upon the 
race formed by Jehovah, and his plan for perpetuating 
it on earth by means of a flirtation with Noah's wife, 
and also by awakening her jealousy. The older legend 
concerning Noah's wife is that mentioned by Tabari, 
which merely states that she ridiculed the predictions 
of a deluge by her husband. So much might have been 
suggested by the silence of the Bible concerning her. 
The Moslem tradition that the Devil managed to get into 
the ark is also ancient. He caught hold of the ass's tail 
just as it was about to enter. The ass came on slowly, 
and Noah, becoming impatient, exclaimed, *You cursed 

^ ' Expression of the Emotions.' By Charles Darwin. London : Murray, 
1872. Chapter IV. 



one, come in quick ! ' When Noah, seeing the Devil in 
the ark, asked by what right he was there, the other said, 
* By your order ; you said, " Accursed one, come in ; " I am 
the accursed one ! ' This story, which seems contrived to 
show that one may not be such an ass as he looks, was 
superseded by the legend which represents Satan as having 
been brought into the ark concealed under Noria's (or 
Noraita's) dress. 

The most remarkable legend of this kind is that found 
in the Eastern Church, and which is shown in various 
mediaeval designs in Russia. Satan is shown, in an early- 
sixteenth century picture belonging to Count Uvarof (Fig. 
29), offering Noah's wife a bunch of khmel (hops) with 
which to brew kvas and make Noah drunk ; for the story 
was that Noah did not tell his wife that a deluge was 
coming, knowing that she could not keep a secret. In the 
old version of the legend given by Buslaef, * after apocry- 
phal tradition used by heretics,' Satan always addresses 
Noah's wife as Eve^ which indicates a theory. It was 
meant to be considered as a second edition of the attack 
on the divine plan begun in Eden, and revived in the 
temptation of Sara. Satan not only taught this new Eve 
how to make kvas but also vodka (brandy) ; and when he 
had awakened her jealousy about Noah's frequent absence, 
he bade her substitue the brandy for the beer when her 
husband, as usual, asked for the latter. When Noah was 
thus in his cups she asked him where he went, and why he 
kept late hours. He revealed his secret to his Eve, who 
disclosed it to Satan, The tempter appears to have 
seduced her from Noah, and persuaded her to be dilatory 
when entering the ark. When all the animals had gone 
in, and all the rest of her family, Eve said, ' I have for- 
gotten my pots and pans,' and went to fetch them ; next 
she said, *I have forgotten my spoons and forks/ and 



returned for them. All of this had been arranged by Satan 

Fig. 39.— Satan and Noraita. 

in order to make Noah curse; and he had just slipped 


under Eve's skirt when he had the satisfaction of hearing 

the intended Adam of a baptized world cry to his wife, 

* Accursed one, come in ! ' Since Jehovah himself could 

not prevent the carrying out of a patriarch's curse, Satan 

was thus enabled to enter the ark, save himself from being 

drowned, and bring mischief into the human world once 


This is substantially the same legend as that of the 

mediaeval Morality called * Noah's Ark, or the Shipwright's 

Ancient Play or Dirge.' The Devil says to Noah's 

wife : — 

Yes, hold thee still le dame. 

And I shall tell thee how ; 

I swear thee by my crooked snout, 

All that thy husband goes about 

Is little to thy profit. 

Yet shall I tell thee how 

Thou shalt meet all his will ; 

Do as I shall bid thee now, 

Thou shalt meet every deaL 

Have here a drink full good 

That is made of a mightful main, 

Be he hath drunken a drink of this. 

No longer shall he learn : 

Believe, believe, my own dear dame, 

I may no longer bide ; 

To ship when thou shalt sayre, 

I shall be by thy side. 

There are some intimations in the Slavonic version 
which look as if it might have belonged to some Pauli- 
cian or other half-gnostic theory that the temptation of 
Noraita (Eve II.), and her alienation from her husband, 
were meant to prevent the repopulation of the Earth.^ 

* The giving of Eve's name to Noah's wife is not the only significant thing 
about this Russian tradition and its picture. Long-bearded devib are nowhere 
normal except in the representations by the Eastern Church of the monarch 
of Hell. By referring to p. 253 of this volume the reader will observe the 
influences which caused the infernal king to be represented as counterpart of 


The next attempt of the Devil, as agent of the Elohistic 
creation, to ruin the race of man, introduces us to another 
form of animalism which has had a large expression in 
Devil-lore. It is related in rabbinical mythology that 
when, as is recorded in Gen. ix. 20, Noah was planting a 
vineyard, the Devil (Asmodeus) came and proposed to 
join him in the work. This having been agreed to, this 
evil partner brought in succession a sheep, a lion, and a 
hog, and sacrificed them on the spot. The result was that 
the wine when drunk first gave the drinker the quality of 
a sheep, then that of a lion, and finally that of a hog.^ 
It was by this means that Noah was reduced to swinish 
inebriation. There • followed the curses on those around 
him, which, however drunken, were those of a father, and 
reproduced on the cleansed world all the dooms which 
had been pronounced in Eden. 

If the date of this legend could be made early enough, 
it would appear to be a sort of revenge for this temptation 
of Noah to drunkenness that Talmudic fable shows As- 
modeus brought under bondage to Solomon, and forced 
to work on the Temple, by means of wine. Asmodeus 
had dug for himself a well, and planted beside it a tree, 
so making for himself a pleasant spot for repose during 
his goings to and fro on earth. But Solomon's messenger 
Benaja managed to cover this with a tank which he filled 
with wine. Asmodeus, on his return, repeated to himself 
the proverb, * Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and 

the Deity. As this tradition about Noah's wife is suggestive of a Gnostic 
origin, it really looks as if the Deyil in it were meant to act the part which the 
Gnostics ascribed to Jehovah himself (vol. ii. p. 207). The Devil is said 
in rabbinical legends to have seduced the wives of Noah's sons ; this legend 
seems to show that his aim was to populate the post-diluvial world entirely 
with his own progeny, in this being an Ildabaoth, or degraded edition of 
Jehovah trying to establish his own family in the earth by the various means 
related in vol. i. chap. 8. 
1 «Nischamath Chajim,' fol. 139, coL 2. 


whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise' (Prov. xx. i); 
yet, being very thirsty, he drank, fell asleep, and when he 
awoke found himself loaded with chains. 

However, after working. for a time for Solomon, he 
discovered that king's weaknesses and played upon them. 
Solomon was so puffed up with a sense of his power that 
he accepted a challenge from his slave (Asmodeus) to 
show his superiority without the assistance of his magic 
ring, and without keeping his competitor in bonds. No 
sooner was Asmodeus free, and in possession of the ring, 
than he transported Solomon four hundred miles away, 
where he remained for a long time among the seductive 
beauties of the Courts of Naamah, Rahab, and other 
she-devils. Meanwhile the Devil, assuming the form of 
Solomon, sat on his throne, and became the darling of his 
Queen and concubines. 
^ The Devil of Wine and strong drink generally has a 
wide representation in folklore. We find him in the 
bibulous Serpent of Japan, who first loses his eight heads 
metaphorically, and then literally from the first of Swords- 
men. The performances of Mephistppheles in Auerbach's 
Cellar are commemorated in its old frescoes, and its motto: 
' Live, drink, carouse, remembering Faust and his punish- 
ment : it came slowly, but was in ample measure.' Thur- 
ingian legends relate that the Devil tries to stop the 
building of churches by casting down the stones, but this 
may be stopped by the builders promising to erect a wine- 
house in the same neighbourhood. An old English legend 
relates that a great man's cellar was haunted by devils 
who drank up his wine. On one occasion a barrel was 
marked with holy water, and the devil was found stuck 
fast on it 

Gluttony, both in eating and drinking, has had its 
many personifications. The characteristics of the Hunger 


demons are travestied in such devils as these, only the 
diabolical, as distinguished from the demonic element, 
appears in features of luxuriousness. The- contrast 
between the starveling saints of the early Church and 
the well-fed friars of later times was a frequent subject 
of caricature, as in the accompany- 
ing example (Fig. 30) from the 
British Museum, fourteenth cen- 
tury (MS. Arundel), where a lean 
devil is satisfying himself through 
a fattened friar. One of the most 
significant features of the old legend Fig. ga— momicwh Gluttomy. 
of Faust is the persistence of the animal character in which 
Mephistopheles appears. He is an ugly dog — a fit emblem 
of the scholar's relapse into the canine temper which flies 
at the world as at a bone he means to gnaw. Faust does 
not like this genuine form, and bids the Devil change it. 
Mephistopheles then takes the form of a Franciscan friar ; 
but 'the kernel of the brute' is in him still, and he at 
once loads Faust's table with luxuries and wines from the 
cellars of the Archbishop of Salzburg and other rich 
priests. The prelates are fond of their bone too. When 
Mephistopheles and Faust find their way into the Vatican, 
it is to witness carousals of the Pope and his Cardinals. 
They snatch from them their luxuries and wine-goblets 
as they are about to enjoy them. Against these invisible 
invaders the holy men bring their crucifixes and other 
powers of exorcism; and it is all snarling and growling — 
canine priest against puppy astrologer. Nor was it very 
different in the history of the long contention between the 
two for the big bone of Christendom. 

The lust of Gold had its devils, and they were not dif- 
ferent from other types of animalism. This was especially 

the case with such as represented money, extorted from 
VOL. II. 2 D 


the people to supply wealth to dissolute princes and pre- 
lates. The giants of Antwerp represent the power of 
the pagan monarchs who exacted tribute ; but these were 
replaced by such guar- 
dians of tribute-money 
as the Satyr of our 
picture (Fig. 31), which 
Edward the Confessor 
saw seated on a barrel 
of Danegcld, 
Vit un d^ble saer desus 
Le tresor, noir et hidus. 
There are many good 
fables in European 
folklore with regard to 
the miser's gold, and 
' devil's money ' gene- 
rally, which exhibit a 
Fi,.j,.-DiviLorAD««ciLDTMAKiM fine instinct A man 

(M& Tcio. Coir, Culab. B. x. i). 

carries home a pack- 
age of such gold, and on opening it there drop out, instead 
of money, paws and nails of cats, frogs, and bears — the 
latter being an almost personal allusion to the Exchange. 
A French miser's money-safe being opened, two frogs only 
were found. The Devil could not get any other soul than 
the gold, and the cold-blooded reptiles were left as a sign 
of the life that had been lived. 

In the legends of the swarms of devils which beset St. 
Anthony we find them represented as genuine animals. 
Our Anglo-Saxon fathers, however, were quite unable to 
appreciate the severity of the conflict which man had to 
wage with the animal world in Southern countries and in 
earlier times. Nor had their reverence for nature and its 
forms been crushed out by the pessimist theory of the 


earth maintained by Christianity. Gradually the repre- 
sentation of the animal tempters was modified, and in- 
stead of real animal forms there were reported the bearded 
bestialities which sur- 
rounded St. Guthlac 
and St Godric The 
accompanying picture 
(Fig. 32) is a group 
from Breughel (1565), 
representing the devils 
called around St. James 
by a magician. These 
grotesque forms will 
repay study. If we 
should make a sketch 
of the same kind, only 
surrounding the saint 
with the real animal 
shapes most nearly re- 
sembling these nonde- 
scripts, it would cease 
to be a diabolical scene. ^^ ^-^- '*"" "•" ""'"■ 

For beastliness is not a character of beasts ; it is the 
arrest of man. It is not the picturesque donkey in the 
meadow that is ridiculous, but the donkey on two feet; 
not the bear of zoological gardens that is offensive morally, 
but the rough, who cannot always be caged ; it is the two- 
legged calf, the snake pretending to be a man, the ape in 
evening dress, who ever made the problem of evil at all 
formidable. It was insoluble until men had discovered 
as Science that law of Evolution which the ancient world 
knew as Ethics. 

A Hindu fable relates that the animals, in their migra- 
tion, came to an abyss they could not cross, and that the 


gods made man as a bridge across it. Science and Reason 
confirm these ancient instincts of our race. Man is that 
bridge stretching between the animal and the ideal habitat 
by which, if the development be normal, all the passions 
pass upward into educated powers. Any pause or impe- 
diment on tha( bridge brings all the animals together to 
rend and tear the man who cannot convey them across 
the abyss. A very slight arrest may reveal to a man that 
he is a vehicle of intensified animalism. The lust of the 
goat, the pride of the peacock, the wrath of the lion, beau- 
tiful in their appropriate forms, become, in the guise of a 
man uncontrolled by reason, the vices which used to be 
called possession, and really are insanities. 

( 421 ) 



I LATELY heard the story of a pious negro woman whose 
faith in hell was sorely tried by a sceptic who asked her 
how brimstone enough could be found to burn gU the 
wicked people in the world. After taking some days for 
reflection, the old woman, when next challenged by the 
sceptic, replied, that she had concluded that ' every man 
took his own brimstone.* This humble saint was uncon* 
scious that her instinct had reached the finest thought of 
Milton, whose Satan says ' Myself am hell' Marlowe's 
Mephistopheles also says, * Where we are is hell.* And, 
far back as the year 633, the holy man Fursey, who be- 
lieved himself to have been guided by an angel near the 
region of the damned, related a vision much like the view 
of the African woman. There were four fires — Falsehood, 
Covetousness, Discord, Injustice — which joined to form 
one great flame. When this drew near, Fursey, in fear, 
said, ' Lord, behold the fire draws near me.' The angel 
answered, ' That which you did not kindle shall not burn 

Such association of any principle of justice, even in 
form so crude, has become rare enough in Christendom to 
excite applause when it appears, though the applause 
has about it that infusion of the grotesque which one per- 
ceives when gallery-gods cheer the actor who heroically 
declares that a man ought not to strike a woman. When 


we go back to the atmosphere of Paganism we find that 
retribution had among them a real meaning. Nothing 
can be in more remarkable contrast than the disorderly 
characterless hell of Christendom, into which the murderer 
and the man who confuses the Persons of the Godhead 
alike burn everlastingly in most inappropriate fires, and 
the Hades of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, where every 
punishment bears relation to the offence, and is limited in 
duration to the degree of the offence. 

*The Egyptians/ says Herodotus (ii. 123), 'were the 
first who asserted that the soul of man is immortal, and 
that when the body perishes it enters into some other 
animal, constantly springing into existence ; and when it 
has passed through the different kinds of terrestrial, marine, 
and aerial beings, it again enters into the body of a man 
that is born, and that this revolution is made in three 
thousand years.' Probably Plato imported from Egypt 
his fancy of the return of one dead to relate the scenes of 
heaven and hell, Er the Armenian (Republic, x. 614) sug- 
gesting an evolution of Rhampsinitus (Herod, ii. 122), who 
descended to Hades alive, played dice with Ceres, and 
brought back gold. The vision of Er represents a terrible 
hell, indeed, but those punished were chiefly murderers 
and tyrants. They are punished tenfold for every wrong 
they had committed. But when this punishment is ended, 
each soul must return to the earth in such animal form 
as he or she might select. The animals, too, had their 
choice. Er saw that the choice was generally determined 
by the previous earthly life, — many becoming animals 
because of some spite derived from their experience. 
' And not only did men pass into animals, but I must also 
mention that there were animals tame and wild who 
changed into one another, and into corresponding human 
natures, the good into the gentle, the evil into the savage, 


in all sorts of combinations.' Sly Plato ! Such is his 
estimate of what men's selections of their paradises are 
worth ! 

Orpheus chose to be a swan, hating to be born of woman, 
because women murdered him ; Ajax became a lion and 
Agamemnon an eagle, because they had suffered injustice 
from men ; Atalanta would be an athlete, and the jester 
Thersites a monkey; and Odysseus went about to find 
the life of a private gentleman with nothing to do. If 
Plutarch's friend Thespesius had pondered well this irony 
of Plato, he would hardly have brought back from his 
visit to Hades the modification that demons were provided 
to assign the animal forms in which souls should be born 
again on earth. They could hardly have done for the 
wicked anything worse than Plato shows them doing for 
themselves. But the meaning of Plutarch is the same. 
Thespesius sees demons preparing the body of a viper 
for Nero to be born into, since it was said the young of 
that reptile destroy their mother at birth. 

Among the Persians the idea of future rewards and 
punishments exceeds the exactness of the Koran — * Whoso 
hath done an atom of justice shall behold it, and whoso 
hath done an atom of injustice shall behold it' The 
Persian Sufis will even subdivide the soul rather than that 
any good act should go down with the larger gross of 
wickedness. Sddi tells of a vision where a man was seen 
in hell, all except one foot, which was twined with flowers. 
With all his wickedness the man had with that foot 
shoved a bundle of hay within reach of a weary ox. 

But while Persian poets — Sufis, ennobling the old name 
Sophist — preserved thus a good deal of the universalism 
of Parsaism, a Mohammedanism hard as the Scythians 
who brought it turned the heart of the people in that 


country to stone. In the Dresden Library there is an 
illuminated Persian MS., thought to be seven hundred 
years old, which has in it what may be regarded as a 
portrait of Ahriman and Iblis combined. He is red, has a 
heavy beard and moustache, and there is a long dragon's 
crest and mane on his head. He wears a green and blue 
skirt about his loins. His tongue rolls thirstily between 
his cruel teeth. He superintends a number of fish-like 
devils which float in a lake, of fire, and swallow the 
damned. Above this scene are the glorified souls, includ- 
ing the Shah sitting cross-legged on his rug, who look 
down on the tortures beneath with evident satisfaction. 
Apparently this is the only amusement which relieves the 
ennui of their heaven. 

If anything could make a rational man believe in a 
fiend-principle in the universe it would be the suggestion 
of such pictures, that men have existed who could conceive 
of happiness enjoyed in view of such tortures as these. 
This and some similar pictures in the East — for instance, 
that in the Temple of Horrors at Wuchang, China — are 
absolutely rayless so far as any touch of humanity is 
concerned. Are the Shah and his happy fellow-inspectors 
of tortures really fiends ? In the light of our present 
intelligence they may seem so. Certainly no person of 
refined feeling could now expect to attain any heaven 
while others were in hell. But it would be possible, if 
persons could believe that many of those around them are 
not men and women at all, but fiends in human shape. 
These ferocious Hells are referable to a period when all 
who incurred the sentences of princes or priests were seen 
as mere masks of devils ; they were only ascribed human 
flesh that they may suffer. The dogma of Hell was 
doomed from the moment that the damned were supposed 
to be really human. 


Were those who killed the martyrs of heresy, for 
instance, to return to the world and look upon those 
whom they pierced, they could never recognise them. 
Were they to see the statues of Bruno, Huss, Cranmer, 
Servetus, the names and forms would not recall to them 
the persons they slew. They would be shocked if told 
that they had burned great men, and would surely answer, 

* Men ? We burned no men. The Devil came among 
us calling himself Huss, and we made short work with 
him ; he reappeared under several aliases — Bruno, Serve- 
tus, Spinoza, Voltaire : sometimes we burned him, at other 
times managed to make him miserable, thank God ! But 
we were not hurting real men, we were saving them/ 

Around such ideas grew our yet uncivilised Codes of 
Law. In England, anno 1878, men are refused as jury- 
men if they will not say, 'So help me God!' on the 
ground that an atheist cannot have a conscience. Only 
let him really be without conscience, and call himself a 
christian when he is not, and courts receive the selfish liar 
with respect. The old clause of the death-sentence — 

* instigated thereto by the Devil ' — ^has been dropped in 
the case of murderers, however ; and that is some gain. 
Torture by fire of the worst murderer for one day would 
not be permitted in Christendom, Belief in hell-fire 
outlasts it for a little among the ignorant But what 
shall be said of the educated who profess to believe it ? 

The Venerable Bede relates that, in the year 696, a 
Northumbrian gentleman, who had died in the beginning 
of the night, came to life and health in the morning, and 
gave an account of what he had seen overnight. He had 
witnessed the conventional tortures of the damned, but 
adds — 'Being thus on all sides enclosed with enemies and 
darkness, and looking about on every side for assistance. 

426 A STAR. 

there appeared to me, on the way that I came, as it were, 
the brightness of a star shining amidst the darkness, 
which increased by degrees/ — but we need not go on 
to the anti-climax of this vision. 

This star rising above all such visions belongs to the 
vault of the human Love, and it is visible through all the 
Ages of Darkness. It cannot be quenched, and its fiery- 
rays have burnt up mountains of iniquity. 

'In the year 1322,' writes Flogel, after the 'Chronicon 
Sampetrinum Erfurtense,* 'there was a play shown at 
Eisenach, which had a tragical enough effect. Markgraf 
Friedrich of Misnia, Landgraf also of Thuringia, having 
brought his tedious warfare to a conclusion, and the 
country beginning now to revive under peace, his subjects 
were busy repaying themselves for the past distresses by 
all manner of diversions ; to which end, apparently by the 
Sovereign's order, a dramatic representation of the Ten 
Virgins was schemed, and at Eisenach, in his presence^ 
duly executed. This happened fifteen days after Easter, 
by indulgence of the Preaching Friars. In the * Chronicon 
Sampetrinum * stands recorded that the play was enacted 
in the Bear Garden {in horto ferarum) by the Clergy and 
their Scholars. But now, when it came to pass that the 
Wise Virgins would give the foolish no oil, and these 
latter were shut out from the Bridegroom, they began to 
weep bitterly, and called on the Saints to intercede for 
them ; who however, even with Mary at their head, could 
effect nothing from God ; but the Foolish Virgins were all 
sentenced to damnation. Which things the Landgraf 
seeing and hearing, he fell into a doubt, and was very 
angry ; and said ' What then is the Christian Faith, if God 
will not take pity on us for intercession of Mary and all 
the Saints ? ' In this anger he continued five days ; and 
the learned men could hardly enlighten him to understand 


the Gospel. Thereupon he was struck with apoplexy, 
and became speechless and powerless ; in which sad state 
he continued, bedrid, two years and seven months, and so 
died, being then fifty-five.' 

In telling the story Carlyle remarks that these *Ten 
Virgins at Eisenach are more fatal to warlike men than 
^schylus' Furies at Athens were to weak women.' Even 
so, until great-hearted men rose up at Eisenach and else- 
where to begin the work destined to prove fatal alike to 
heartless Virgins and Furies. That star of a warrior's 
Compassion, hovering over the foolish Friars and their 
midnight Gospel, beams far. The story reminds me of 
an incident related of a mining district in California, where 
a rude theatre was erected, and a company gave, as their 
first performance, Othello. When the scene of Desde- 
mona's suffocation approached, a stalwart miner leaped on 
the stage, and pulling out his six-shooter, said to the 
Moor, *You damned nigger 1 if you touch that woman 
I'll blow the top of. your head off!' A dozen roughs, 
clambering over the footlights, cried, 'Right Joel we'll 
stand by you I * The manager met the emergency by 
crying, * Don't shoot, boys I This play was wrote by Bill 
Shakespear; he's an old Californian, and it's all in funl' 
Had this Moor proceeded to roast Desdemona in fire with 
any verisimilitude, it is doubtful if the manager could have 
saved him by an argument reminding the miners that such 
was the divine way with sinners in the region to which 
most of them were going. The top of that theologic 
hell's head is not very safe in these days when human 
nature is unchained with all its six-shooters, each liable 
to be touched off by fire from that Star revolving in the 
sphere of Compassion. 

Day after day I gazed upon Michael Angelo's 'Last 


Judgment' in the Sistine Chapel. The artist was in his 
sixtieth year when Pope Clement VII. invited him 
to cover a wall sixty feet high and nearly as wide with 
a picture of the Day of Wrath. In seven years he had 
finished it Clement was dead. Pope Paul IV. looked 
at it, and liked it not: all he could see was a vast number 
of naked figures; so he said it was not fit for the Sistine 
Chapel, and must be destroyed. One of Michael Angelo's 
pupils saved it by draping some of the figures. Time 
went on, and another Pope came who insisted on more 
drapery, — so the work was disfigured again. However, 
popular ridicule saved this from going very far, and so 
there remains the tremendous scene. But Popes and 
Cardinals always disliked it The first impression I 
received from it was that of a complete representation of 
all the physical powers belonging to organised life ; though 
the forms are human, every animal power is there, leaping, 
crouching, crawling, — every sinew, joint, muscle, portrayed 
in completest tension and action. TJien the eye wanders 
from face to face, and every passion that ever crawled or 
prowled in jungle or swamp is pictured. The most 
unpleasant expressions seemed to me those of the martyrs. 
They came up from their graves, each bringing the instru- 
ment by which he had suffered, and offering it in witness 
against the poor wretches who came to be judged; and 
there was a look of self-righteous satisfaction on their 
faces as they witnessed the persecution of their perse- 
cutors. As for Christ, he was like a fury, with hand 
uplifted against the doomed, his hair wildly floating. The 
tortured people below are not in contrast with the blessed 
above; they who are in heaven look rather more stupid 
than the others, and rather pleased with the anguish they 
witness, but not more saintly. But gradually the eye, 
having wandered over the vast canvas, from the tortured 


Cardinal at the bottom up to the furious Judge, — alights 
on a face which, once seen, is never to be forgotten. 
Beautiful she is, that Mary beside the Judge, and more 
beautiful for the pain that is on her face. She has drawn 
her drapery to veil from her sight the anguish below ; she 
has turned her face from the Judge, — does not see her 
son in him; she looks not upon the blessed, — for she, 
the gentle mother, is not in heaven ; she cannot have joy 
in sight of misery. In that one face of pure womanly 
sympathy — ^that beauty transfigured in its compassionate- 
ness — ^the artist put his soul, his religion. Mary's face 
quenches all the painted flames. They are at once made 
impossible. The same universe could not produce both a 
hell and that horror of it. The furious Jesus is changed 
to a phantasm ; he could never be born of such a mother. 
If the Popes had only wished to hide the nakedness of 
their own dogmas they ought to have blotted out Mary's 
face ; for as it now stands the rest of the forms are but 
shapes to show how all the wild forms and passions of 
human animalism gather as a frame round that which is 
their consummate* flower, — the spirit of love enshrined in 
its perfect human expression. 

So was it that Michael Angelo could not serve two 
masters. Popes might employ him, but he could not do 
the work they liked. * The passive master lent his hand 
to the vast soul that o'er him planned.' He could not 
help it. The lover of beauty could not paint the Day of 
Wrath without setting above it that face like a star which 
shines through its unreality, burns up its ugliness, and 
leaves the picture a magnificent interpretation of the forms 
of nature and hopes of the world, — a cardinal hypocrite 
at the bottom, an ideal woman at the top. 

Exhausted by the too-much glory of the visions of 


Paradise which he had seen, Dante came forth to the 
threshold opening on the world of human life, from which 
he had parted for a space, and there sank down. As he 
lay there angels caused lilies to grow beneath and around 
him, and myrtle to rise and intertwine for a bower over 
him, and their happy voices, wafted in low-toned hymns, 
brought soft sleep to his overwrought senses. Long had 
he slumbered before the light of familiar day stole once 
more into those deep eyes. The angels had departed. 
The poet awoke to find himself alone, and with a sigh he 
said to himself, ' It is, then, all but a dream.' As he arose 
he saw before him a man of noble mien and shining 
countenance, habited in an Eastern robe, who returned 
his gaze with an interest equal to his own. Quickly the 
Qyts of Dante searched the ground beside the stranger to 
see if he were shadowless : convinced thus that he was 
true flesh and blood, the Florentine thus addressed him :— r- 

* Pilgrim, for such thou seemest, may we meet in simple 
human brotherhood ? If, as thy garb suggests, thou 
comest from afar, perchance the friendly greeting, evea 
of one who in his native city is still himself a pilgrim, may 
not be unwelcome. 

'Heart to heart be our kiss, my brother; yet must I 
journey without delay to those who watch and wait for 
wondrous tidings that I bear. 

* Friend ! I hear some meaning deeper than thy words. 
If 'twere but as satisfying natural curiosity, answer not ; 
but if thou bearest a burden of tidings glad for all human- 
kind, speak I Who art thou 1 whence comest, and with 
what message freighted ? 

'Arda Virdf is the name I bear; from Persia have I 
come J but by what strange paths have reached this spot 
know I not, save that through splendours of worlds 
invisible to mortal sense I have journeyed, nor en- 


countered human form till I found thee slumbering on 
this spot. 

' Trebly then art thou my brother ! I too have but now, 
as to my confused sense it seems, emerged from that vast 
journey. Thou clearest from me gathering doubts that 
those visions were illusive. Yet, as even things we really 
see are often overlaid by images that lurk in the eye, I 
pray thee tell me something thou hast seen, so that per- 
chance we may part with mutual confirmation of our 

'That gladly will I do. When the Avesta had been 
destroyed, and the sages of Iran disagreed as to the true 
religion, they agreed that one should be chosen by lot to 
drink the sacred draught of Vishtasp, that he might pass 
to the invisible world and bring intelligence therefrom. 
On me the lot fell. Beside the fire that has never gone 
out, surrounded by holy women who chanted our hymns, 
I drank the three cups — Well Thought, Well Said, Well 
Done. Then as I slept there rose before me a high stair- 
way of three steps; on the first was written, Well Thought; 
on the second. Well Said; on the third. Well Done. By 
the first step I reached the realm where good thoughts are 
honoured : there were the thinkers whose starlike radiance 
ever increased. They offered no prayers, they chanted no 
liturgies. Above all was the sphere of the liberal. The 
next step brought me to the circle of great and truthful 
speakers: these walked in lofty splendour. The third 
step brought me to the heaven of good actions. I 
saw the souls of agriculturists surrounded by spirits of 
water and earth, trees and cattle. The artisans were 
seated on embellished thrones. Sublime were the seats 
of teachers, interceders, peace-makers; and the religious 
walked in light and joy with which none are satiated. 

'Sawest thou the fairest of earth-born ladies — Beatrice? 


* I saw indeed a lady most fair. In a pleasant grove lay 
the form of a man who had but then parted from earth. 
When he had awakened, he walked through the grove and 
there met him this most beautiful maiden. To her he said, 
'Who art thou, so fair beyond all whom I have seen in the 
land of the living ?' To him she replied, ' O youth, I am 
thy actions.' Can this be thy lady Beatrice ? 

' But sawest thou no hell ? no dire punishments ? 

'Alas! sad scenes I witnessed, sufferers whose hell was 
that their darkness was amid the abodes of splendour. 
Amid all that glow one newly risen from earth walked 
shivering with cold, and there walked ever by his side a 
hideous hag. On her he turned and said, 'Who art thou, 
that ever movest beside me, thou that art monstrous 
beyond all that I have seen on earth ?' To him she 
replied, 'Man, I am thy actions.' 

'But who were those glorious ones thou sawest in 
Paradise ? 

'Some of their names I did indeed learn — Zoroaster, 
Socrates, Plato, Buddha, Confucius, Christ. 

' What do I hear ! knowest thou that none of these save 
that last holy one — whom methinks thou namest too 
lightly among men — were baptized ? Those have these 
eyes sorrowfully beheld in pain through the mysterious 
justice of God. 

'Thinkest thou, then, thy own compassion deeper than 
the mercy of Ormuzd ? But, ah! now indeed I do remem- 
ber. As I conversed with the sages I had named, they 
related to me this strange event. By guidance of one of 
their number, Virgil by name, there had come among them 
from the earth a most powerful magician. He bore the 
name of Dante. By mighty spells this being had cast 
them all into a sad circle which he called Limbo, over 
whose gate he wrote, though with eyes full of tears, * All 


hope abandon, ye who enter here ! ' Thus were they in 
great sorrow and dismay. But, presently, as this strange 
Dante was about to pass on, so they related, he looked 
upon the face of one among them so pure and noble that 
though he had styled him ' pagan,' he could not bear to 
abandon him there. This was Cato of Utica. Him this 
Dante led to the door, and gave him liberty on condition 
that he would be warder of his unbaptized brethren, and 
by no means let any of them escape. No sooner, however, 
was this done than this magician beheld others who moved 
his reverence,— among them Trajan and Ripheus,— and 
overcome by an impulse of love, he opened a window in the 
side of Limbo, bidding them emerge into light. He then 
waved his christian wand to close up this aperture, and 
passed away, supposing that he had done so; but the 
limit of that magician's power had been reached, the 
window was but veiled, and after he had gone all these 
unbaptized ones passed out by that way, and reascended 
to the glory they had enjoyed before this Dante had 
brought his alien sorceries to bear upon them for a brief 

' Can this be true ? Is it indeed so that all the sages 
and poets of the world are now in equal rank whether or 
not they have been sealed as members of Christ ? 

* Brother, thy brow is overcast. What ! can one so pure 
and high of nature as thou desire that the gentle Christ, 
whom I saw embracing the sages and prophets of other 
ages, should turn upon them with hatred and bind them 
in gloom and pain like this Dante } ' 

Thereupon, with a flood of tears, Dante fell at the feet 
of Arda Virdf, and kissed the hem of his skirt ' Purer is 
thy vision, O pilgrim, than mine,' he said. ' I fear that I 
have but borne with me to the invisible world the small pre- 
judices of my little Church, which hath taught me to limit 

VOL. II. 2 E 


the Love which I now see to be boundless. Thou who 
hast learned from thy Zoroaster that the meaning of God 
is the end of all evil, a universe climbing to its flower in 
joy, deign to take the hand of thy servant and make him 
worthy to be thy friend, — with thee henceforth to abandon 
the poor formulas which ignorance substitutes for virtue, 
and ascend to the beautiful summits thou has visited by 
the stairway of good thoughts, good words, good deeds/ 

In 174s Swedenborg was a student of Natural Philo- 
sophy in London. In the April of that year his 'revela- 
tions ' began amid the smoke and toil of the great metro- 
polis. ' I was hungry and ate with great appetite. Towards 
the end of the meal I remarked a kind of mist spread 
before my eyes, and I saw the floor of my room covered 
with hideous reptiles, such as serpents, toads, and the like. 
I was astonished, having all my wits about me, being per- 
fectly conscious. The darkness attained its height and 
then passed away. I now saw a Man sitting in the corner 
of the .chamber. As I had thought myself alone, I was 
greatly frightened when he said to me, * Eat not as 

In Swedenborg's Diary the incident is related more 
particularly. 'In the middle of the day, at dinner, an 
Angel spoke to me, and told me not to eat too much at 
table. Whilst he was with me, there plainly appeared to 
me a kind of vapour steaming from the pores of my body. 
It was a most visible watery vapour, and fell downwards 
to the ground upon the carpet, where it collected and 
turned into divers vermin, which were gathered together 
under the table, and in a moment went off with a pop or 
noise. A flery light appeared within them, and a sound 
was heard, pronouncing that all the vermin that could 
possibly be generated by unseemly appetite were thus cast 


out of my body, and burnt up, and that I was now cleansed 
from them. Hence we may know what luxury and the 
like have for their bosom contents.' 

Continuing the first account Swedenborg said, 'The 
following night the same Man appeared to me again. I 
was this time not at all alarmed. The Man said, ' I am 
God, the Lord, the Creator, and Redeemer of the world. 
I have chosen thee to unfold to men the spiritual sense of 
the Holy Scripture. I will myself dictate to thee what 
thou shalt write.* The same night the world of spirits, 
hell and heaven, were convincingly opened to me, where I- 
found many persons of my acquaintance of all conditions. 
From that day forth I gave up all worldly learning, and 
laboured only in spiritual things, according to what the 
Lord commanded me to write.' 

He 'gave up all worldly learning,' shut his intellectual 
tytSy and sank under all the nightmares which his first 
vision saw burnt up as vermin. After his fiftieth year, 
says Emerson, he falls into jealousy of his intellect, makes 
war on it, and the violence is instantly avenged. But the 
portrait of the blinded mystic as drawn by the clear seer 
is too impressive an illustration to be omitted here. 

* A vampyre sits in the seat of the prophet and turns 
with gloomy appetite to the images of pain. Indeed, a 
bird does not more readily weave its nest or a mole bore 
in the ground than this seer of the souls substructs a new 
hell and pit, each more abominable than the last, round 
every new crew of offenders. He was let down through a 
column that seemed of brass, but it was formed of angelic 
spirits, that he might descend safely amongst the unhappy, 
and witness the vastation of souls ; and heard there, for 
a long continuance, their lamentations ; he saw their tor- 
mentors, who ihcrease and strain pangs to infinity; he 
saw the hell of the jugglers, the hell of the assassins, the 


hell of the lascivious ; the hell of robbers, who kill and boil 
men ; the infernal tun of the deceitful ; the excrementitious 
hells ; the hell of the revengeful, whose faces resembled a 
round, broad cake, and their arms rotate like a wheel. . , . 
The universe, in his poem, suffers under a magnetic 
sleep, and only reflects the mind of the magnetiser. . . . 
Swedenborg and Behmon both failed by attaching them- 
selves to the christian symbol, instead of to the moral 
sentiment, which carries innumerable Christianities, hu- 
manities, divinities, in its bosom. . . . Another dogma, 
growing out of this pernicious theologic limitation, is this 
Inferno. Swedenborg has devils. Evil, according to old 
philosophers, is good in the making. That pure malignity 
can exist, is the extreme proposition of unbelief. . . . 
To what a painful perversion had Gothic theology 
arrived, that Swedenborg admitted no conversion for 
evil spirits 1 But the divine effort is never relaxed ; 
the carrion in the sun will convert itself to grass and 
flowers; and man, though in brothels, or jails, or on 
gibbets, is on his way to all that is good and true.' 

But even the Hell of Swedenborg is not free from the 
soft potency of our star. It is almost painful, indeed, to 
see its spiritual ray mingling with the fiery fever-shapes 
which Swedenborg meets on his way through the column 
of brass, — made, had he known it, not of angels but of 
savage scriptures. * I gave up all worldly learning * — he 
says : but it did not give him up all at once. ' They 
(the damned) suffer ineffable torments; but it was per- 
mitted to relieve or console them with a certain degree of 
hope, so that they should not entirely despair. For they 
said they believed the torment would be eternal. They 
were relieved or consoled by saying that God Messiah is 
merciful, and that in His Word we read that * the pri- 
soners will be sent forth from the pit' (Zech. ix. 2). 


Swedenboi^ reports that God Messiah appeared to these 
spirits, and even embraced and kissed one who had been 
raised from ' the greatest torment/ He says, * Punishment 
for the sake of punishment is the punishment of a devil/ 
and affirms that all punishment is 'to take away evils or 
to induce a faculty of doing good.' These utterances are 
in his Diary, and were written before he had got to the 
bottom of his Calvinistic column ; but even in the 'Arcana 
Celestia ' there is a gleam : — ' Such is the equilibrium of 
all things in another life that evil punishes itself, and 
unless it were removed by punishments the evil spirits 
must necessarily be kept in some hell to eternity/ 

Rediictio ad absurduml And yet Swedenborgians 
insist upon the dogma of everlasting punishments ; to 
sustain which they appeal from Swedenborg half-sober 
to Swedenborg mentally drunk. 

In the Library at Dresden there is a series of old pictures 
said to be Mexican, and which I was told had been pur- 
chased from a* Jew in Vienna, containing devils mainly of 
serpent characters blended with those of humanity. One 
was a fantastic serpent with human head, sharp snoutish 
nose, many eyes, slight wings, and tongue lolling out. 
Another had a human head and reptilian tail. A third 
is human except for the double tongue darting out. A 
fourth has issuing from the back of his head .a serpent 
whose large dragon head is swallowing a human embryo. 
Whatever tribe it was that originated these pictures must 
have had very strong impressions of the survival of the 
serpent in some men. 

I was reminded of the picture of the serpent swallowing 
the human embryo while looking at the wall-pictures in 
Russian churches representing the conventional serpent 
with devils nestling at intervals along its body, as repre- 


sented in our Figure (lo). Professor Buslaef gave me the 
right archaeology of this, no doubt, but the devils them- 
selves, as I gazed, seemed to intimate another theory 
with their fair forms. They might have been winged 
angels but for their hair of flame and cruel hooks. They 
seemed to say, ' We were the ancient embryo-gods of the 
human imagination, but the serpent swallowed us. He 
swallowed us successively as one after another we availed 
ourselves of his cunning in our priesthoods ; as we brought 
his cruel coils to crush those who dared to outgrow our 
cult ; as we imitated his fang in the deadliness with which 
we bit the heel of every advancing thinker; as, when 
worsted in our struggle against reason, we took to the 
double tongue, praising with one fork the virtues which 
we poisoned with the other. Now we are degraded with 
him for ever, bound to him by these rings, labelled with 
the sins we have committed.* 


It was by a true experience that the ancients so generally 
took nocturnal animals to be types of diabolism. Corre- 
sponding to them are the sleepless activities of morally 
unawakened men. The animal is a sleeping man. Its 
passions and instincts are acted out in what to rational 
man would be dreams. In dreams, especially when in- 
fluenced by disease, a man may mentally relapse very far, 
and pass through kennels and styes, which are such even 
when somewhat decorated by shreds of the familiar human 
environment The nocturnal form of intellect is cunning ; 
the obscuration of religion is superstition; the dark shadow 
that falls on love turns it to lust. These wolves and bats, 
on which no ideal has dawned, do not prowl or flit through 
man in their natural forms : in the half-awake conscious- 
ness, whose starlight attends man amid his darkness, their 
misty outlines swell, and in the feverish unenlightened 


conscience they become phantasms of his animalism — 
werewolves, vampyres. The awakening of reason in any 
animal is through all the phases of cerebral and social 
evolution. A wise man said to his son who was afraid to 
enter the dark, ' Go on, child ; you will never see anything 
worse than yourself.' 

The hare-lip, which we sometimes see in the human 
face, is there an arrested development Every lip is at 
some embryonic period a hare-lip. The development of 
man's visible part has gone on much longer than his intel- 
lectual and moral evolution, and abnormalities in it are 
rare in comparison with the number of survivals from the 
animal world in his temper, his faith, and his manners. 
Criminals are men living out their arrested moral develop- 
ments. They who regard them as instigated by a devil 
are those whose arrest is mental. The eye of reason will 
deal with both all the more effectively, because with as 
little wrath as a surgeon feels towards the hare-lip he 
endeavours to humanise. 

It is an impressive fact that the great and reverent mind 
of Spinoza, in pondering the problem of Evil and the 
theology which ascribed it to a Devil, was unconsciously 
led to anticipate by more than a century the first (modern) 
scientific suggestions of the principle of Evolution. In 
his early treatise, 'De Deo et Homine,' occurs this short 
but momentous chapter — 

' De Diabolis. If the Devil be an Entity contrary in 
all respects to God, having nothing of God in his nature, 
there can be nothing in common with God. 

' Is he assumed to be a thinking Entity, as some will 
have it, who never wills and never does any good, and 
who sets himself in opposition to God on all occasions, he 


would assuredly be a very wretched being, and, could 
prayers do anything for him, his amendment were much 
to be implored, 

'But let us ask whether so miserable an object could 
exist even for an instant ; and, the question put, we see 
at once that it could not ; for from the perfection of a 
thing proceeds its power of continuance : the more of the 
Essential and Divine a thing possesses, the more enduring 
it is. But how could the Devil, having no trace of perfec- 
tion in him, exist at all ? Add to this, that the stability 
or duration of a thinking thing depends entirely on its 
love of and union with God, and that the opposite of 
this state in every particular being presumed in the Devil, 
it is obviously impossible that there can be any such being, 

* And then there is indeed no necessity to presume the 
existence of a Devil ; for the causes of hate, envy, anger, 
and all such passions are readily enough to be discovered; 
and there is no occasion for resort to fiction to account 
for the evils they engender.' 

In the course of his correspondence with the most 
learned men of his time, Spinoza was severely questioned 
concerning his views upon human wickedness, the dis- 
obedience of Adam, and so forth. He said — to abridge 
his answers — If there be any essential or positive evil in 
men, God is the author and continuer of that evil. But 
what is called evil in them is their degree of imperfection 
as compared with those more perfect. Adam, in the 
abstract, is a man eating an apple. That is not in itself 
an evil action. Acts condemned in man are often admired 
in animals, — as the jealousy of doves, — and regarded as 
evidence of their perfection. Although man must restrain 
the forces of nature and direct them to his purposes, it is 
a superstition to suppose that God is angry against such 
forces. It is an error in man to identify his little incon- 


veniences as obstacles to God. Let him withdraw him- 
self from the consideration and nothing is found evil 
Whatever exists, exists by reason of its perfection for its 
own ends, — which may or may not be those of men. 

Spinoza's aphorism, *From the perfection of a thing 
proceeds its power of continuance/ is the earliest modern 
statement of the doctrine now called 'survival of the fittest.' 
The notion of a Devil involves the solecism of a being 
surviving through its unfitness for survival. 

Spinoza was Copernicus of the moral Cosmos. The 
great German who discovered to men that their little 
planet was not the one centre and single care of nature, 
led the human mind out of a closet and gave it a universe. 
But dogma still clung to the closet; where indeed each 
sect still remains, holding its little interest to be the aim 
of the solar system, and all outside it to be part of a 
countless host, marshalled by a Prince of Evil, whose 
eternal war is waged against that formidable pulpiteer 
whose sermon is sending dismay through pandemonium. 
But for rational men all that is ended, and its decline 
began when Spinoza warned men against looking at the 
moral universe from the pin-hole of their egotism. That 
closet-creation, whose laws were seen now acting now 
suspended to suit the affairs of men, disappeared, and man 
was led to adore the All. 

It is a small thing that man can bruise the serpent's 
head, if its fang still carries its venom so deep in his 
reason as to blacken all nature with a sense of triumphant 
malevolence. To the eye of judicial man, instructed to 
decide every case without bribe of his own interest as a 
rival animal, the serpent's fang is one of the most perfect 
adaptations of means to ends in nature. Were a corre- 


spending perfection in every human mind, the world would 
fulfil the mystical dream of the East, which gave one 
name to the serpents that bit them in the wilderness and 
seraphim singing round the eternal throne. 

* Cursed be the Hebrew who shall either eat pork, or 
permit his son to be instructed in the learning of the 
Greeks/ So says the Talmud, with a voice transmitted 
from the * kingdom of priests ' (Exod. xix. 6). From the 
altar of * unhewn stone' came the curse upon Art, and 
upon the race that represented culture raising its tool 
upon the rudeness of nature. That curse of the Talmud 
recoiled fearfully. The Jewish priesthood had their son 
in Peter with his vision of clean and unclean animals, and 
the command, * Slay and eat ! ' Uninstructed is this heir 
of priestly Judaism ' in the learning of the Greeks,' con- 
sequently his way of converting Gentiles — the herd of 
swine, ^^ goyim — is to convert them into christian proto- 
plasm. * Slay and eat,' became the cry of the elect, and 
their first victim was the paternal Jew who taught them 
that pork and Greek learning belonged to the same 

But there was anotfier Jewish nation not composed of 
priests. While the priestly kingdom is typified in Jonah 
announcing the destruction of Nineveh, who, because the 
great city still goes on, reproaches Jehovah, the nation of 
the poets has now its Jehovah II. who sees the humiliation 
of the tribal priesthood as a withered gourd compared 
with the arts, wealth, and human interests of a Gentile 
city. *The Lord repented.' The first Gospel to the 
Gentiles is in that gentle thought for the uncircumcised 
Ninevites. But it was reached too late. When it gained 
expression in Christ welcoming Greeks, and seeing in 


stones possible * children of Abraham ;' in Paul acknow- 
ledging debt to barbarians and taking his texts from 
Greek altars or poets ; the evolution of the ideal element 
in Hebrew religion had gained much. But historic com- 
binations raised the judaisers to a throne, and all the nar- 
rowness of their priesthood was re-enacted as Christianity. 

The column of brass in whose hollow centre the fine 
brain of Swedenborg was imprisoned is a fit similitude of 
the christian formula. The whole moral attitude of Chris- 
tianity towards nature is represented in his first vision. 
The beginning of his spiritual career is announced by the 
evaporation of his animal nature in the form of vermin. 
The christian hell is present, and these aminal parts are 
burnt up. Among those burnt-up powers of Swedenborg, 
one of the serpents must have been his intellect. * From 
that day forth I gave up all worldly learning.' 

Here we have the ideal christian caught up to his 
paradise even while his outward shape is visible. But 
what if we were all to become like that ? Suppose all the 
animal powers and desires were to evaporate out of man- 
kind and to be burnt up ! Were that to occur to-day the 
effect on the morrow would be but faintly told in that 
which would be caused by sudden evaporations of steam 
from all the engines of the world. We may imagine a 
band of philanthropists, sorely disturbed by the number 
of accidents incidental to steam-locomotion, who should 
conspire to go at daybreak to all the engine-houses and 
stations in England, and, just as the engines were about 
to start for their work, should quench their fires, let off 
their steam, and break their works. That would be but 
a brief paralysis of the work of one country; but what 
would be the result if the animal nature of man and its 
desires, the works and trades that minister to the ' pomps 


and vanities/ all worldly aims and joys, should be burnt up 
in fires of fanaticism ! 

Yet to that fatal aim Christianity gave itself, — so con- 
trary to that great heart in which was mirrored the beau- 
tiful world, its lilies and little children, and where love 
shed its beams on the just and the unjust! The orga- 
nising principle of Christianity was that which crucified 
Jesus and tqok his tomb for corner-stone of a system 
modelled after what he hated. Its central purpose was to 
effect a divorce between the moral and the animal nature 
of man. One is called flesh and the other spirit ; one was 
the child of God, the other the child of the Devil. It rent 
asunder that which was really one ; its whole history, so 
long as it was in earnest, was the fanatical effort to keep 
asunder by violence those two halves ever seeking harmony; 
its history since its falsity was exposed has been the hypo- 
crisy of professing in word what is impossible in deed. 

Beside the christian vision of Swedenborg, in which 
the judaic priest's curse on swinish Greek learning found 
apotheosis, let us set the vision of a Jewish seer in whom 
the humanity that spared Nineveh found expression. The 
seer is Philo, — name rightly belonging to that pure mind 
in which the starry ideals of his Semitic race embraced 
the sensuous beauty which alone could give them life. 
Philo (Praem. et Poenis, sec. 15-20) describes as the first 
joy of the redeemed earth the termination of the war 
between man and animal. That war will end, he says, 
* when the wild beasts in the soul have been tamed. Then 
the most ferocious animals will submit to man ; scorpions 
will lose their stings, and serpents their poison. And, in 
consequence of the suppression of that older war between 
man and beast, the war between man and man shall also 


Here we emerge from Swedenborg's brass column, we 
pass beyond Peter's sword called * Slay-and-eat/ we leave 
behind the Talmud's curse on swine and learning : we rise 
to the clear vision of Hebrew prophecy which beheld lion 
and lamb lying down together, a child leading the wild 
forces subdued by culture. 

* Why not God kill Debbil ? ' asked Man Friday. It is 
a question which not even Psychology has answered, why 
no Theology has yet suggested the death of the Devil in 
the past, or prophesied more than chains for him in the 
future. No doubt the need of a ' hangman's whip to haud 
the wretch in order ' may partly account for it ; but with 
this may have combined a cause of which it is pleasanter 
to think — Devils being animal passions in excess, even the 
ascetic recoils from their destruction, with an instinct like 
that which restrains rats from gnawing holes through the 
ship's bottom. 

In Goethe's ' Faust ' we read, Dock das Antike find* ich 
zu lebendig. It is a criticism on the nudity of the Greek 
forms that appear in the classical Walpurgis Night But 
the authority is not good: it is Mephistopheles who is 
disgusted with sight of the human form, and he says 
they ought in modern fashion to be plastered over. His 
sentiments have prevailed at the Vatican, where the antique 
statues and the great pictures of Michael Angelo bear 
witness to the prurient prudery of the papal mind. ' Devils 
are our sinners in perspective,' says George Herbert 

Herodotus (ii. 47) says, *The Egyptians consider the 
pig to be an impure beast, and therefore if a man, in pass- 
ing by a pig, should touch him oftly with his garments, he 
forthwith goes to the river and plunges in; and, in the 


next place, swineherds, although native Egyptians, are 
the only men who are not allowed to enter any of their 
temples.' The Egyptians, he says, do not sacrifice the 
goat; 'and, indeed, their painters and sculptors represent 
Pan with the face and legs of a goat, as the Grecians do ; 
not that they imagine this to be his real form, for they 
think him like other gods ; but why they represent him in 
this way I had rather not mention/ We need not feel the 
same prudery. The Egyptians rightly regarded the sym- 
bol of sexual desire, on whose healthy exercise the per- 
petuation of life depended, as a very different kind of 
animalism from that symbolised in the pig's love of refuse 
and garbage. Their association of the goat with Pan — the 
lusty vigour of nature — ^was the natural preface to the arts 
of Greece in which the wild forces were taught their first 
lesson — Temperance. Pan becomes musical. The vigour 
and vitality of human nature find in the full but not ex- 
cessive proportions of Apollo, Aphrodite, Artemis, and 
others of the bright array, the harmony which Pan with 
his pipe preludes. The Greek statue is soul embodied 
and body ensouled. 

Two men had I the happiness to know in my youth, 
into whose faces I looked up and saw the throne of Genius 
illumined by Purity. One of them, Ralph Waldo Emer- 
son, wrote, ' If beauty, softness, and faith in female forms 
have their own influence, vices even, in a slight degree, 
are thought to improve the expression.* The other, 
Arthur Hugh Clough, wrote, * What we all love is good 
touched up with evil.' Here are two brave flowers, of 
which one grew out of the thorny stem of Puritanism, the 
other from the monastic root of Oxford. The 'vices' 
which could improve the expression, even for the pure 
eyes of Emerson, are those which represent the struggle 


of human nature to exist in truth, albeit in misdirec- 
tion and reaction, amid pious hypocrisies. The Oxonian 
scholar had seen enough of the conventionalised cha- 
racterless * good ' to long for some sign of life and freedom, 
even though it must come as a touch of * evil.' To the 
artist, nature is never seen in petrifaction ; it is really as 
well as literally a becoming. The evil he sees is ' good in 
the making:' what others call vices are voices in the wil- 
derness preparing the way of the highest. 

' God and the Devil make the whole of Religion,* said 
Nicoli — speaking, perhaps, better than he knew. The 
culture of the world has shown that the sometime 
opposed realms of human interest, so personified, are 
equally essential. It is through this experience that the 
Devil has gained such ample vindication from the poets — 
as in Rapisardi's * Lucifero,' a veritable * bringer of Light,' 
and Cranch's * Satan.' From the latter work (* Satan : A 
Libretto.' Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1874), which should 
be more widely known, I quote some lines. Satan says — 

I symbolise the wild and deep 
And unregenerated wastes of life, 
Dark with transmitted tendencies of race 
And blind mischance ; all crude mistakes of will 
And tendency unbalanced by due weight 
Of favouring circumstance ; all passion blown 
By wandering winds ; all surplusage of force 
Piled up for use, but slipping from its base 
Of law and order. 

This is the very realm in which the poet and the artist 
find their pure-veined quarries, whence arise the forms 
transfigured in their vision. 

To evoke Helena, Faust, as we have seen, must repair 
to the Mothers. But who may these be ? They shine 


from Goethes page in such opalescent tints one cannot 
transfix their sense. They seemed to me just now the 
primal conditions, by fulfilling which anything might be 
attained, without which, nothing. But now (yet perhaps 
the difference is not great) I see the Mothers to be the 
ancient healthy instincts and ideals of our race. These 
took shape in forms of art, whose evolution had been 
man's harmony with himself. Christianity, borrowing 
thunder of one* god, hammer of another, shattered them^ 
shattered our Mothers! And now learned travellers go 
about in many lands saying, * Saw ye my beloved ? ' Amid 
cities ruined and buried we are trying to recover them, 
fitting limb to limb — so carefully 1 as if half-conscious 
that we are piecing together again the fragments of our 
own humanity. 

• The Devil : Does Ite Exist, and witat does he Dof* 
Such is the title of a recent work by Father Delaporte, 
Professor of Dogma in the Faculty of Bordeaux. He 
gives specific directions for exorcism of devils by means 
of holy water, the sign of the cross, and other charms. 
* These measures,' says one of his American critics, * may 
answer very well against the French Devil; but our 
American Beelzebub is a potentate that goeth not forth 
on any such hints.' Father Delaporte would hardly con- 
tend that the use of cross and holy water for a thousand 
years has been effectual in dislodging the European 

On the whole, I am inclined to prefer the method of the 
Africans of the Guinea Coast They believe in a parti- 
cularly hideous devil, but say that the only defence they 
require against him is a mirror. If any one will keep a 
mirror beside him, the Devil must see himself in it, and he 
at once rushes away in terror of his own ugliness. 


No monster ever conjured tip by imagination is more 
hideous than a rational beings transformed to a beast. 
Just that is every human being who has brought his 
nobler powers down to be slaves of his animal nature. 
No eye could look upon that fearful sight unmoved. All 
man needs is a true mirror in which his own animalism 
may see itself. We cannot borrow for this purpose the 
arts of Greece, nor the fairy ideals of Germany, nor the 
emasculated saints of Christendom. These were but frag- 
ments of the man who has been created by combination 
of their powers, and their several ideals are broken bits 
that cannot reflect the whole being of man in its propor- 
tions or disproportions. 

The higher nature of man, polished by culture of all 
his faculties, can alone be the faithful mirror before his 
lower. The clearness of this mirror in the individual 
heart depends mainly on the civilisation and knowledge 
surrounding it. The discovered law turns once plausible 
theories to falsehoods ; a noble literature transmutes once 
popular books to trash. When Art interprets the realities 
of nature, when it shows how much beauty and purity our 
human nature is capable of, it holds a mirror before all 
deformities. At a theatre in the city of London, I wit- 
nessed the performance of an actor who, in the course of 
his part, struck a child. He was complimented by a 
hurricane of hisses from the crowded gallery. Had those 
'gods' up there never struck children? Possibly. Yet 
here each had a mirror before him and recoiled from his 
worst self. A clergyman relates that, while looking at 
pictures in the Bethnal Green Museum, he overheard a 
poor woman, who had been gazing on a Madonna, say, 
'If I had such a child as that I believe I could be a good 
woman.' Who can say what even that one glance at her 

VOL. II. 2 F 


life in the ideal reflector may be worth to that wanderer 
amid the miseries and temptations of London ! 

It is not easy for those who have seen what is high and 
holy to give their hearts to what is base and unholy. It 
is as natural for human nature to love virtue as to love 
any other beauty. External beauty is visible to all, and 
all desire it : the interior beauty is not visible to superficial 
glances, but the admiration shown even for its counterfeits 
shows how natural it is to admire virtue. But in order 
that the charm of this moral beauty maybe felt by human 
nature it must be related to that nature — real. It must 
not be some childish ideal which answers to no need of 
the man of to-day; not something imported from a time 
and place where it had meaning and force to others where 
it has none. 

When dogmas surviving from the primitive world are 
brought to behold themselves in the mirror held up by 
Science, they cry out, * That is not my face ! You are 
caricaturing my beliefs I * This recoil of Superstition from 
its own ugliness is the victory of Religion. What priests 
bewail as disbelief is faith fleeing from its deformities. 
Ignorant devotion proves its need of Science by its terrors 
of the same, which are like those of the horse at first sight 
of its best friend, bearer of its burthens — the locomotive. 

Religion, like every other high feature of human 
nature, has its animal counterpart. The animalised reli- 
gion is superstition. It has various expressions, — the 
abjectness of one form, the ferocity of another, the cunning 
of a third. It is unconscious of anything higher than 
animalism. Its god is a very great animal preying on 
other animals, which are laid on his altars ; or pleased 
when smaller animals give up their part of the earthly 


feast by starving their passions and senses. Under the 
growth of civilisation and intelligence that pious asceticism 
is revealed in its true form, — intensified animalism. The 
asceticism of one age becomes the self-indulgence of 
another. The two-footed animal having discovered that 
his god does not eat the meat left for him, eats it himself. 
Learning that he gets as much from his god by a wafer 
and a prayer, he offers these and retains the gifts, treasures, 
and pleasures so commuted, — these, however, being with- 
drawn from the direction of the higher nature by the fact 
of being obtained through the conditions of the lower, and 
dependent on their persistence. In process of time the 
forms and formulas of religion, detached from all reality — 
such as no conceivable monarch could desire — not only 
become senseless, but depend upon their senselessness for 
continuance. They refuse to come at all within the 
domain of reason or common-sense, and trust to mental 
torpor of the masses, force of habit in the aggregate, self- 
interest in the wealthy and powerful, bribes for thinkers 
and scholars. 

Animalism disguised as a religion must render the 
human religion, able to raise p^sions into divine attri* 
butes of a perfect manhood, impossible so long as it 
continues. That a human religion can ever come by any 
process of evolution from a superstition which can only 
exist by ministry to the baser motives is a delusion. 
The only hope of society is that its independent minds 
may gain culture, and so surround this unextinct mon- 
ster with mirrors that it may perish through shame at 
its manifold deformities. These are symbolised in the 
many-headed phantasm which is the subject of this work. 
Demon, Dragon, and Devil have long paralysed the finest 
powers of man, peopling nature with horrors, the heart 


with fears, and causing the religious sentiment itself to 
make actual in history the worst excesses it professed to 
combat in its imaginary adversaries. My largest hope is 
that from the dragon-guarded well where Truth is too 
much concealed she may emerge far enough to bring her 
mirror before these phantoms of fear, and with far-darting 
beams send them back to their caves in Chaos and ancient 

The battlements of the cloisters of Magdalen College, 
Oxford, are crowned with an array of figures representing 
virtues and vices, with carved allegories of teaching and 
learning. Under the Governor's window are the pelican 
feeding its young from its breast, and the lion, denoting 
the tenderness and the strength of a Master of youth. 
There follow the professions — the lawyer embracing his 
client, the physician with his bottle, the divine as Moses 
with his tables of the Law. Next are the slayers of 
Goliath and other mythical enemies. We come to more 
real, albeit monstrous, enemies; to Gluttony in ecclesi- 
astical dress, with tongue lolling out ; and low-browed 
Luxury without any vesture, with a wide-mouthed animal- 
eared face on its belly, the same tongile lolling out — ^as in 
our figures of Typhon and Kali. Drunkenness has three 
animal heads — one of a degraded humanity, another a 
sheep, the third a goose. Cruelty is a werewolf ; a frog- 
faced Lamia represents its mixture with Lust ; and other 
vices are represented by other monsters, chiefly dragons 
with griffin forms, until the last is reached — the Devil, 
who is just opposite the Governor's symbols across the 

So was represented, some centuries ago, the conflict of 
Ormuzd and Ahriman, for the young soldiers who enlisted 
at Oxford for that struggle. A certain amount of fancy 


has entered into the execution of the figures ; but, if this 
be carefully detached, the history which I have attempted 
to tell in these volumes may be generally traced in the 
Magdalen statues. Each represents some phase in the 
advance of the world, when, under new emergencies, earlier 
symbols were modified, recombined, and presently replaced 
by new shapes. It was found inadequate to keep the 
scholar throwing stones at the mummy of Goliath when 
by his side was living Gluttony in religious garb. The 
scriptural symbols are gradually mixed with those of 
Greek and German mythology, and by such contact with 
nature are able to generate forms, whose lolling tongues, 
wide mouths, and other expressions, represent with some 
realism the physiognomies of brutality let loose through 
admission to human shape and power. 

It may be that, when they were set up, the young 
Oxonian passed shuddering these terrible forms, dreaded 
these werewolves and succubae, and dreamed of going 
forth to impale dragons. But now the sculptures excite 
only laughter or curiosity, when they are not passed by 
without notice. Yet the old conflict between Light and 
Darkness has not ceased. The ancient forms of it pass 
away ; they become grotesque. Such was necessarily the 
case where the excessive mythological and fanciful ele- 
ments introduced at one period fall upon another period 
when they hide the meaning. Their obscurity, even for 
antiquarians, marks how far away from those cold battle- 
fields the struggle they symbolised has passed. But it 
ceases not. Some scholars who listen to the sweet vespers 
of Magdalen may think the conflict over ; if so, even poor 
brother Moody may enter the true kingdom before them ; 
for, when preaching in Baltimore last September, he said, 
* Men are possessed of devils just as much now as they 
ever were. The devil of rum is as great as any that ever 


lived. Why cannot this one and all others be cast out ? 
Because there is sin in the christian camp.' 

The picture which closes this volume has been made for 
me by the artist Hennessey, to record an incident which 
occurred at the door of N6tre Dame in Paris last summer. 
I had been examining an ugly devil there treading down 
human forms into hell ; but a dear friend looked higher, 
and saw a bird brooding over its young on a nest supported 
by that same horrible head. 

So, above the symbols of wrath in nature, Love still 
interweaves heavenly tints with the mystery of life ; be- 
side the horns of pain prepares melodies. 

Even so, also, over the animalism which deforms man, 
rises the animal perfection which shames that ; here ascend- 
ing above the reign of violence by a feather's force, and 
securing to that little creature a tenderness that could 
best express the heart of a Christ, when it would gather 
humanity under his wings. 

This same little scene at the cathedral door came 
before me again as I saw the Oxonian youth, with their 
morning-faces, passing so heedlessly those ancient sculp- 
tures at Magdalen. Over every happy heart the same old 
love was brooding, in each nestling faculties were trying 
to gain their wings. To what will they aspire, those 
students moving so light-heartecl amid the dead dragons 
and satans of an extinct world ? Do they think there are 
no more dragons to be slain ? Know they that saying, 
*He descended into hell;' and that, from Orpheus and 
Herakles to Mohammed and Swedenborg, this is the bur- 
then felt by those who would be saviours of men ? 

It is not only loving birds that build their nests and 
rear their young over the horns of forgotten fears, but, alas! 
the Harpies tool These, which Dante saw nestling in 


still plants — onc« men who had wronged themselves — 
rear successors above the aspirations that have ended in 
' nothing but leaves,' The sculptures of Magdalen are 
incomplete. There is a vacant side to the quadrangle, 
which, it is to be feared, awaits the truer teaching that 
would fill it up with the real dragons which no youth could 
heedlessly pass. Who can carve there the wrongs that 
await their powers of redress ? Who can set before them, 
with all its baseness, the true emblem of pious fraud ? 
When will they see in any stone mirror the real shape 
of a double-tongued Culture — one fork intoning litanies, 
another whispering contempt of them ? The werewolves of 
scholarly selfishness, the Lamias of christian casuistry, 
the subtle intelligence that is fed by sages and heroes, but 
turns them to dust, nay, to venom, because it dares not be 
human, still crawls — these are yet to be revealed in all 
their horrors. Then will the old cry, SuRSUM CoRDA, 
sound over the ancient symbols whereon scholars waste 
their strength, by which they are conquered ; and wings 
of courage shall bear them with their arrows of light to 
rescue from Superstition the holy places of Humanity. 


Aaboh, i. 187, 335 ; ii. 47, 235 

AbaddoD, i. 182, 289 

Abel (and Cain), i. 185, 188 ; ii. 135, 

143, 235. 279 
Abgutt, i. 22 teq. ; ii. 1 3 9eq,, 47 teq, 

Abraham, ii. 54, 81 aeq,, 132, 262 

Accadian Mytliology, i. 88, 89, no, 

256; ii. 108 
Accuaen, i. 344 ; ii. 151, 160,165, 169 
Actas, the, i. 269 
Adam, i. 28, 135 ; ii. 68«eg., 77, 85, 

88, 91 uq,, 143, 209, 215, 223, 385, 


Belial, name of Samael, ii. 262 

Adamites, ii. 224, 225 

Adar, Chaldean Hercules, i. 1 10 

Adder, i. 358 

Adi, Sheikh, his scripture, i. 28 

Aditi, i 15 

Admetus, i. 285, 286 

Adod, sun-god, iL 55 

Adonis, i. 79 

.£oIu8, king, i. 99, 118, 119 

iBona, ii. 254 

.^Ischylus, Eumenldes of, i. 8 

Moirn of, i. 421 

Prometheus of, i. 385, 421 

Aeshma, i. 19, 58 ; ii. 263, 264 

Aeair, i. 79, 84 

Africa, Eucharist of, ii. 219 

Serpent-drama of, in America, 

i. 332 »eq. 
Agni, i. 57, 58, 61, 75, 170, 276, 350 ; 

Agriculture and Hunting, i. 188 ; ii. 

235» 136, .143 
Agrimony, ii. 324 

Agrippa, ii. 210, 285 

A hi the throttler, i. 1 74, 355 9eq,, 

362, 407 ; ii. 29, 66, 176 
Ahmet, i 28 
Ahriman, L 25, 36, 60, 253, 369, 423 ; 

ii. 6, 21, 24 nq,, 34, 76, 105, 158, 

184, 235, 424, 452 

Ahura, iee Asura 

Air, Prince of, ii. 210 ieq., 236, 398 
Aitutaki, L 43 

Aix-Ia-Chapelle, legends, ii. 397 
Akaanga, i. 42 
Akhkharu, i. 49, 55 
Albach, the giant, L 199 
Albigenses, iL 252 
Albion, i. 160 
Alboordj, ii. 27 
Alcestis, i. 80, 394, 395, 424 
Alchemy, ii. 303 
Ale-wife, the wicked, ii. 390 
Alhambra, legend of, i. 160 
Alilat, goddess of Semitic tribes, ii. 92 
Allah, i. 181, 423 ; ii. 92, 143, 261 
Ailat, i. 17 ; ii. 106 
Alp, i. 198 

Altmark, Teufelsee in. Devil's altar 
at, i. 221 ; Will-o'-Wisp, I 225; ii. 

Al Usza, L 17 

Amalekites, source of power of, ii 

Amalrich of Bena, ii. 255 

Amazons, ii. loi, 102 

Ambulones, spirits called, i. 240 

Amen-Ra, Hymns to, legend of,i. 256, 

321 ; ii. 107 teq. 
Amenti, Egyptian paradise, ii. 99 
Amos, prophecy of, ii. 241 
Amrita, i. 46, 59, 356; ii. 67, 68, 

Anakim, ii. 405 
Ananias, ii. 236 
Ananta and Sesha, characteristics of 

Vishnu, i. 351 
Angelo, Michael, his Moses, L 19 

his Lilith, ii. 97 

his Day of Wrath, ii. 428 

of commotion, L 100 

of death, i. 289 

destroying, i. 252 ; ii. 233 

rebellious, ii. 123 teq. 



Aniguel, ii. 299 

Auimals, i. 17; ii. 386 

legends of, i. 121 %tq.\ ii 369 

AnimaliBm, ii. 401 5e$., 420^ 437 «<$., 

A nisei, iL 229 

Annunak, i. 177 

Annwn, i. 78 

Aniya, ii. 105 

AnrSmainyuB, ii. 263 

Antaeus, i. 407 

Antecessor, ii. 322 

Antichrist, ii. 24 m^., 316, 320, 392, 

Antwerp giants, ii. 418 

Anu, i. 109 ; ii. 106, 109, 235 

Aphrodite, L 79, 120, 214; ii. 230, 

Apocatequil, Peruvian god, i. 198 
Apollo, i. 81, 155, 156, 307, 310, 377, 

378, 414 ; ii. 289 
Apollonius of Tyana, ii. 304 Mg. 
Apollyons, i. 182 ; ii. 191 
Apophis, i. 340 «^$. ; ii. 108 
Apotropaei, ii. 290 
Aquinas, ii. 386 
his prayer for the devil, ii. 386 

Arabian legends, ci7. i. 107, 198, 290; 

ii. 136 
Arbuda, i. 171 
Arcadians, i. 156 teg. 
Ardd VirtLf, i. 257 ; iL 430 
Ares, i. 97, 275 
Ariel, ii. 299 
Ark, Noah's, i. 335, 337, 411; of 

Covenant, ii. 238 
Amobius, ii. 305 
Arnold, Matthew, eiU i. 225 
Amulphus, cit ii. 254 
Ars moriendi, ii 394 
Arthur, King, i. 68, 368 ; iL 317 
Aryas, L 151 
Asa, ii. 265, 304, 307 
Asael, L 17 ; ii. 265, 299, 304, 307 
Ashdahak, ii. 176 
Ash Mogb, i. 322 ; iL 65 
Asmodeus, i. 19, 58 ; ii. 1 00, 263, 

264, 268, 303, 311, 320, 385, 415 
Asp, L 343, 352 
Ass, L 183 ; iL 163, 295 
Assyrian, Fire-god, i. 88 

Mythology, ii. 106 «eg. 

Psalm, L 255, 256 

Astaroth, ii. 299 
Astarte, iL 106, 119 
Asteria, ii. 119 

Astrssa, L 20 ; iL 1 19 
Astrateia, iL 119 
Astrological dances, L 251 
Astrology, L 74, 251 wq. ; iL 308, 

Astyages, iL 1 76 
Asuman, ii. 289 

Asura, L 26, 375, 406 ; iL 4, 23, 113 
Atergatis, Syrian fish-deity, L 1 10 
Athene, iL 235 
Atkinson, H. G. , cif . ii. 227 
Aucassin and Nicolette, iL 267 
Auerbach's cellar, iL 336, 416 
Auerhahn, ii. 284 
Aurelius, Marcus, ii. 244 
Australian superstition, i. 269 seg. 
Automatia, iL 274 
Avallon, L 243 
Averrunci, ii. 290 
Avicenna on Genii, L 17 
Azazel, L 17, 187, 188; iL 131, 187, 

Azrael. L 290, 291 
Azru, L 401 , 402 

Baal, L 9, 62, 65, 78, 183 

Babylon, King of, ii. 118, 134 

Bacon, Uoger, ii. 285 

Baga, L 16 

Bahirawa, ii. 408 

Bahman, L 17 

Bahu, Assyrian, Queen of Hades, ii. 

105, 108, 114 
Bakwains, superstition of, i. 98 
Bala, L 71 
Balaam, iL 163 
Baldur, i. 78 seg. 
Bali, L 161 

Balzac, anecdote of, i. 223 
Bambino of Rome, L 338 
Baptism, L 75 ; ii. 217 se?., 145, 432 
Barbarosaa, i. loi ; iL 318 
Barbatos, wild archer, L 10 1 ; iL 299 
Barber's pole, meaning, i. 352 
Bardism, L 78 

Baring-Gould, dl, iL 279 ; L 218 
Barfael, iL 299 
Barrenness, i. 170 «eg. 
Bartel, i. 1 1 1 
Basilisk, i. 361 seg. 
Bavent, Madeline, ii. 268 
Bear legends, i. 145, 146, 104 
Beast in Apocalypse, ii. 5, 256, 247 
Beaumont, John, cil^ ii. I 
Beauty and the beast, L 145, 146 
Bedargon, iL 1x6 
Beelzebub, L 9, lo; ii. 126, 144, 




Behemoth, i. 46, 323, 408 itq. 

Bel, i. 109, no ; ii. iiote^., 1 18, 120, 

127, 176 
Belemnites, i. loi 
Beli, i. 189 

Belial, i. 18 ; ii. 191, 192, 287, 299 
Bellerophon, i. 154, 155, 382, 386 
Belon, Dr., on gold-fisb, i. 228 
Belus, ii. 99 
Beltane cake, i. 47 
Benaja, Solomon's servant, ii. 415 
Bene elohim, IL 405 
Beowulf and the dragon, L 368 
Berchta, see Bertha 
Berserkers, i. 162 
Bertha, i. 214, 215 
Bethgelert, i. 351 
Bhtit, i. 49 

Biam of Australia, i. 98 
Bickerstith, Dr., on the Devil, ii. 272 
Bigot, the word, i. 22 
BUdad, ii. 152, 154, 155 
Bileam, ii. 304 
Bishop's Bible, cU,\. 16 
Black Monk of the Danube, i. 116 
Black Prince, ii. 408 
Blake, William, eit. i. 13 ; ii. 269 
Blasphemy, ii. 232 
Blocksberg, i. 1 14 ; ii. 322 
Blokula, i. 318; ii. 322 
Blood covenant, ii. 219, 308 
Blumeuthal lake, i. 228 
Boar legends, i. 144 ; ii. 369 wq. 
Boar's head feast at Oxford, i. 90, 387 
Bob-tailed dragon, L 105 
Bocca della verita at Rome, i. 201 ; it 

Bodos, the, i. 53 

Bodrima, Singhalese Lilith, ii. 99 
Bodine, ii. 210 

Boehme's theory of Satao, ii. 272 
Bog, i. 16 
Bogey, i. 16 
Bogomiles, ii. 385 
Bohemian superstition, i. 119 
Book- burning, ii. 281, 282 
Boo in, Mimac warrior, i. 267 
Borgia, Roderic, Pope Alexander VI., 

ii. 255, 333 .... 

Bracon Ash, Rector of, at. 11. 237 

Brahma, i. 24 ; ii. 23, 235 

Brahman Eden, ii. 77 

frogs, ii. 33 

Brahmans, ii 34 ttq* 

Bran, Knight, i. 365 

Breath, i 406, 407, 41 1 ; ii 234 mj. 

Brimir, i. 85 

Brinton, Mr., ct^ i. 347 

Britons, i. 164 

Browne, Mr. J., eU, ii. 222 

Brownie, i 163, 165 

Buddha, i 24, 99. 100, 125, 152, 153; 

ii* 3> 179 '^•> 1^4* '^6 
Bull, legends of, ii. 29 

Bunyan, description of devil, eil. ii. 

Burmah, rain superstition, i. 356 
Burton, 'Anatomy of Melancholy,' eii* 

i 240, 241 ; ii 210 
Bualaef, ii. 438 
Byelbog, ii. 253 
Bythos, Qnostic, ii 207 

Cadmus, i. 407 ; ii 278 

Csodmon, cU. ii 121 se^. 

Cassars as gods, ii. 243, 244 

Cailliacb-more, i. 202 

Cain, i 185 ; ii 87, 135, 143, 235 

Cala, ii. 409 

Calas, Singhalese, i 275, 276 ; ii. 408, 

Calderon de la Barca, ii. 341 
California springs, i 1 13, 220; story 

of, ii 427 
Callot, pictures by, i. 417 ; ii. 190, 393 
Calmet, cit, i 334 ; ii. 167 
Calu Cumara, ii 408 
Cama, Lust, ii 409 
Camerarius, ii. 337 
Campbell, Colonel, cU, ii. 234 
Candaules, ii. 409 
Cardan, ct£. ii. 210 
Caricatures of gods, i 310, 311, 321 
Carlyle, T., cil, ii 196 wg. 
Cathari, ii. 385 
Cato of Utica, ii. 433 
Cats, legends of, i 130 uq, ; ii 301, 

Celebes, i. 218 

Celibacy, ii 424 

Celsus, cit, ii. 305, 401 

Centaurs, i 390 ; ii 289 

Cerberus, i 133, 320, 391 

Ceylon Rakshasis, i. 15 1, 216 

Chaldsean fragments, ii. 69, 106 seg. 

Chaldseo-Babylonian Triad, i 109 uq. 

Chalice, Hindu, i 31 

Charlemagne, legends, ii. 228, 395 

Charms, i. 4, 256, 258 «cg. ; ii. 290, 

Charybdis, i. 201 
Cheepichealm, Dragon of Mimacs, i 

Cheiron, i 390 
Chem, Egyptian Pan, i. 188 
Chemofihjii 56 



ClioDooB, dexnoDB of Mimao lodians, 

i. 84 
Chetija, the mare, ii. 373 
Chixnara, i. 154, 382 k^. 
China, Fire-god, L 72 uq. 

Qenii of, L 167 

Mermaid, i. 216 

Ghriatmas, i. 23, 275 

Churohyardy south era part used, L 87 

GimmeriftDB, i. 160 

Cini, fire, ii 409 

Cinderella, i. 33 

Circassians, demonic origin of, L 161 

Circumcision, ii. 83 wq. 

Cities, sunken, i. 228 

Clayie, the, i. 81, 82, 86 

Clement YII., Pope, and M. Angelo, 

ii. 428 
Climate, e£feot on mythology, i. 88 
Cloud phantoms, L 374, 375 
Clough, A. H., di, ii. 446 
Clovis, legend of, ii. 62, 228 
Cobalt, derivation, i. 233 
Cockatrice, L 361, 363 uq. 
Cockcrow, L 20 ; ii. 241 
Cock Lane Qhost, the, i. 309 
Colonial Dragon, i. 385 mj. 
Comets, i. 177; ii. 117 
Commotion, angels of, i. ICX> 
Compacts with the Devil, i. 308 
Confucius, i. 24 
Contest in heaven, ii. 107 aeg. 
Conversion, it 161, 162, 194 
Conyers family at Sockbum, legend, 

i. 388 
Corbeil, picture, ii. 295 

Cows, i. 126 ; Indra's, 414 

Craft, W., narrative of, i. 3 

Cranach, Lucas, design by, ii. 256 

Cranch, C. P., his Satan, ii 44.6 

Crooked legs of demons, i. 98 

Culloo, prsBtematural water-bird, i. 


Culpepper, astrologer, dL i 253 

Cyclopes, i. 97, 107, 164 

Cyprian, '£1 Magico Prodigioso,' ii 

341 «9- 
Cyprianus, book of, ii. 282 

Cyrus, ii 176, 410 

Dagoh, i 46, no 
Dahut, legend of, Brittany, i 228 
Daityas, enemies of the gods, i. 16 
Dame Blanche, La, Normandy, i 203 
Damonische (Goethe), ii. 274 
Dancing, i. 250 ae^. 
Daniel, horn of, ii. 247 
Danites, i 390 

Dano, evil spirit, India, i 285 
Dante, ii 393, 430 f«g. 
Danube legends, i 115 uq. 
Dapplegrimm, ii. 371 
Darkness, i 231 uq, 

Prince of, i 240 ; ii 1 14, 145 

Dartmoor, story of, i 248 
Dasent, cit. ii 294 
Dasyus, i 151 
David, ii 51, 163 
Death, i 269 $eq.; ii. 210 

Cobbler and, i. 292 

conquered by Cturist, and Her- 

akles, i 80 

dance of, i 293 

Deism, i i »eq. 

Deities, caricatured, i 30 

Demonic, i 7 teq. 

Dotard, i 311 

Night, i 232 teq. 

Delia Bella, scientific monster of, i 

Demigods, i 394 
Demonic races, i 156 uq, 
Demonolatry, i I aq, 
Demonology, task of, i 38 
Demons, Agatho-, i 24. 

of barrenness, i 170 teq, 

bequest to their conquerors, i. 

classes of, i 35 

cold, i 77 teq, 

Danube, i 115 

decline of, i 299 tea. 

Delilah, i 251 ; ii 85 

distinguished from devils, i. 36 

Drisa, i 235 

Elean, i 156, 157 

evolution of, i 29 

generalisation of, i. 318 teq, 

genesii of, i. 7 

germs of, i. 11 

hunger, i 41 teq. 

ink, ii. 282 

inundation, i 108, 109 

KiJlo-, i 24 

long noses of, i. 196, 197 

luminous, i. 21 

meaning of word, i 14, 16 

meteoric, i 20 

nondescript, i 319 

obstructive, i 190 teq. 

representations of, i 30 

Rhone, i 117 

Serbian, i. 206 

Tidal, i 118, 119 

Tyrol, i 198 teq, 

water, i 119 



Bemona, wind, L 88, 89, 99 

Denial, ii 400 

Denmark, custom in, ii. 389 

Destroying angels, L 252 ; iL 58, 266 

Deuce, the word, i. 16 

Deus, i. 16 

Dev, i. 16 

Deva, i. 16, 25, 67 «ej. 

Devaki, ii. 174, 175 

Devel, gipsy name for Ood, i. 16 

Devil, ii. 197 

altar in Altmark, i. 221, 222 

appearance of, ii. 270, 271 

barley and, i. 315 

Bible of, ii. 283 

bridges, L 204, 205 

bridled, ii. 374 

Brighton, dyke of, i. 122, 123 

Buda, ditch of, at^ i. 1 14 

carpenter and, legend, i. 312 

compacts with, ii. 308 

complexion of, i. 150 9tq, 

ditches and dikes, i. 1 14 

definition of, ii. i ttq* 

entry into world, ii. 85 

flower, ii. 288 

gratitude of, ii. 389, 396 

Japanese, i. 106 

Luther and, ii. ^96, 197 

Luther's, ii. 286 

— Mozambique, i. 1 50 

, Katisbon, bridge, i« 205 

strife, ii. 135 %tq, 

water, i. 212 

— worship, i. 26 «eg. 
Dharma, i. 61 

Dhulkamein legend, Koran, i. 168 
Diable Boiteux, i. 19, 58, 97, 98; ii. 

Le Bon, ii 381 jeg. 

Didron, M., eU, i. 19 ; ii. 229 

Dii Involuti, i. 336, 337 

Diocletian, daughter of, i. 164 

Dis, derivation of, i. 355 

Disease, i« 249 uq. 

Disorder, ii. 116, 117 

Diti, origin of, i. 15 

Dives and Lazarus, i. 281 ; ii. 394 

Dodona, dove on oaks of, ii 228 

Dog, legends, i. 131 teq. ; ii 127, 210, 

3"»335» 370 
Dogdo, ii 173 
Domovoi, Russian, i 37. 
Donne, Dr., on the Muses, ii 272 
Dora's Triumph of Christianity, i 

420; ii. 266. 
Dove, legends, ii. 226 m^. 
Dragon, i 299 %tq,\ ii. 4«e9., 120, 202 

Dragon, apocalyptic, ii. 4 #09., 320 

bob«tailed, i. 105 

British, i. 386 Mtq, 

brutal, i. 391, 392 

Chinese, i. 105 

Colonial, i 385 uq. 

communal, i. 390. 

conventional, i. 324, 383 

crests with, i 366 

derivation, i. 371 

distinguished from demon and 

devil, i. 320 

Durer's, i. 381 

Dygore and, i. 389 

Egyptian, i. 381 

eyes of, i. 372, 373 

French, i. 379 

Greek, i 382 

Hal, at, i. 48 

Italian, i 380 

medicinal, i. 370, 371 

Mimacs, i. 167 

myths, i. 403 9tq. 

not primitive, i. 321 

Saurian theory of, i. 320 

slayers, i. 97, 394 ztq.\ ii. 454 

Turner's, i 323, 373, 374 

Wantley, i 388, 414 

Dreams, i 237 

Drums, superstition of, i. 104, 344 

Dualism in nature, i 6, 12, 305 ; ii. 


Duergar, the, i 163 

Dummeteufel, ii. 294 

D^rga and Kili as Eve and Lilith, 

ii. 102 
Duzhak, ii. 29 
Dwarfs, i 161, 163 

Echidna, brood of, i. 407 ; ii. 321 
Eclipses in India, i 44 
Edda, eiJt. i. 10, 84, 85 ; ii 68 
Edderston legend, i. 164 
Eden, i. 186 ; ii. 86, 88, 89, 64 uq. 
Edom, ii 164, 172, 262 
Egg of serpent, i. 325, 327 
Egnischen, Satan's marriage, i. 3CX) 
Egypt, dragons of, i. 381 

plagues of, i. 177 uq. 

serpent goddess of, ii. 99 

Sheikh's ride in, i 180, i8t 

wars of Ra and Set in, i. 182 Kq. 

Eisenach, ' Mystery ' at, ii 426 
Eleans, demonic character of, i 156, 

Elbiz, swan, i. 223 

Elf, i 49 ; ii. 323, 218 

derivation of , i 194, 198, 223 



Elf shots, i. 104 

Elfdale witches, ii. 322 

Eli, sons of, ii. 233 

Elias, i. 98 Mj. 

Elihu, i. 156 

Eliphaz, ii. 151, 154 

Eluhim, ii. 46.M9., 210 

Emerson, dt. i. 191, 192, 237, 327, 

403, 404 ; »'. 204, 43Si 446 

Ennoia, ii. 207 

Enoch, Book of, c^, L 131, 409,1410 ; 

Epiphanius on flute-players, ii. 273 
Erasmus, ctt. ii. 291 
Erinyes, i. 8, 421 ; ii. 402 
Erleursortok, Greenland demon, i. 

83, 183 

Erlik, i. 197 

Erl kin^, i. 224, 226 

Esau (Edom), ii. 131 mj., 138, 139, 

142, 145, 146 
Esculapius, i. 370 ; ii. 278 
Etna, temple of Vulcan on, i. 156 
Eumenides, i. 78 
Euphemism, i. 8, 224, 225 
Eusebius, ii. 305 
Euthymus, i. 156 
Eve, i. 224 ; ii. 73 M^., 82 «f$., 84, 

86, 87, 90, 99, loi, 103, 225 
Evil,i. 6, 13 

Eril eye, i. 372, 373 ; ii. 217, 334 
Excalibur, i. 97 
Exorcism, ii. 218 
Eysteiu the Bad, i. 137 

Fairfax family, legends, i. 309, 311 
Fairies, i. 32 

Familiars, Napoleon I., i. 75; doc- 
rates, i. 16 
Famine and sun-spots, i. 171 «eg. 
Fatalism, i. 425 ttq. 
Fates, i. 420 Kq. , 426 
Faust, i. 120, 189, 190; ii. 198^ 305, 

306, 309» 332, 333. 335 »^9- . 399, 

Faustus, biography, ii. 336 
Fear, spirit of, ii. 229, 238 
Fenris, wolf, i. 141, 413 
Fiend, ' the Unitarian,' ciU il. 292 
Finns, Mythology of, i. 88 
Firoone, ii. 288 
Fire, feast of, i. 61 

fiend, i. 64, 71, 74, 75 

worship, i. 65 

Flint arrows, darts of gods, i. 104 

Flogel, dt, ii. 426 

Flood, the, i. no 

Flying Dutchman, the, i. 1 1 1 

Formosa, isles of the genii, i. 167 
Fox legends, i. 123, 124 
Franconia, custom in, i. 48 
Franklin, anecdote of, L 107 
Fraulein, Holy, i. 225 
Frederick the Great, incident ia life 

of, i. 361 
Freyja, i. 32, 130, 311, 317 ; ii. 301 
Fried rich of Misnia, ii. 426 
Friendly obstacles, i. 206 
Friesack, legend, ii. 390, 403 
Friesland, legend of, i. 1 1 3 
Frigga, i. 32, 31 1 ; ii. 362, 376 ffj. 
Kroude, J. A., ctt. ii. 401 
Funeral rite?, i. 53, 73 
Furies, see Erinyes 
Furka glacier, Swiss legend, L I17 
Fumiss, Father, dt. ii. 170 
Fust, iL 278, 284 

Galetkas, African superstition, i. 

^ *57 
Galileo, ii. 340 

Gammer Gurton's Needle, ii. 295 

Gargoyles, i. 32 

Garura, story uf, iL 34 

Gast, concerning Faustus, ii. 337 

Gaume, Mgr., ciU iL 212, 216 

Gehenna, L 62, 82 ; iL 56 

Genii, L 167 

Gentiles, ii. 405, 442 

Gergon, ii. 410 

Ghilg^t fiend, legend, i. 396 uq. 

Giants, i. 161 se^. 

conyerted, i. 200 

become fairies, L 203 

imprisoned, L 169 

become little people, L 316 

mountain pass, L 202 

Tyrol, L 198 uq, 

Gibbe, cat, iL 313 

Gimli, L 85 

Gin, L 153 

Glamour, L 213, T^j^teq.^ 316 

Glanvil, eH, ii. 212, 323 

Glaucoma, i. 214 

Glucksbrunn mines, iL 275 

Gluttony, ii. 416 se;. 

Gnosticism, ii. 207 

Goat, legends, i. 122, 127 

Goban Saor, legend, i. 308, 309 

Goblin, i. 50 

Gods in exile, i. 306 « 

in new dress, i. 307, 308 

returning to nature, L 317 

Goethe, cU, 376, 377 

antipathy to dogs, L 134 uq. 

Gog and Magogs L 164, 168, 169, 423 



GoUiteee, legend, i 222 

Gold, devil of, ii. 418 

Golden legend, the, di, iL 223 

Gorgon, L 370^ 377, 378, 406, 422 

Grau, Prof., dt. ii. 287 

Greek Church and pigeons, i. 227 

Gregory, letter to Mellitus, i. 23 

Pope and dove, ii. 228 

Grendel and his mother, i. I20 

Gretchen, ii. 269 

Grimm, n't. i. 45 

Griselda, ii. 158 

Gude man's croft, i. 54* 3i5f 316 

Gula, ii. 113 

Guy of Warwick, i. 388, 413, 416 

Habortm, i. 74 

Hackelberend, ii. 353 

Hackelberg, ii. 353 

Hadad and Solomon, ii. 164 

Hades, i. 60, 76 te^., 82, 232; ii. 1 1 3, 

235, 403 
Hair, Lilith's, ii. 98 

Hakon, Saga, i 137 

Halcyon, i. 118 

Hallowe'en, i. 66 

Hamah, the bird, i. 28 

Hanover, relic in, ii. 226 

Haoma, i. 26 

Hare, legends, i. 124, 125 

Hare-lip, ii. 439 

Harischandra, the drama, ii. 35 tf^., 


HarpagQS, ii. 176 

Harry, Old, ii. 133 

Harsenet, ii. 295, 31 1 

Hathors, i. 7; Set and, i. 256 

Hatto, Bishop, and rats, i. 129 

Havamal, i. 06, 87 ; ii. 356 

Hawthorne, cU, i. 359; ii. 231 

Hea, Welsh, i. 78 ; Egyptian, i. 77, 

Healing serpent, i. 351, 552 

Heaven, i. 85, 86, 310 ; ii. 67, 424, 430 

Hecate, i. 139 ; ii. 301 

Hedgehog, i. 122 

Heifer, red, i. 70 

Heimo, giant, i. 200 

Heimskringla, i. 166 

Heine, ciU i. 215, 306, 327; ii. 287 

Hel, i. 78, 82 

Helena of Troy, ii. 309 ; Faust's mis- 
tress, ii. 338, 351 

Helena, Empress, ii. 223 

Helios at Mycenae, i. 99 

Hell, the word, i. 82 ; notions of, ii. 
116, 128, 144, 424; Dante and 
Arda Yiraf, ii. 429 ttq^. 

Hell-hounds, i. 139 
Hennessey, W. J., design by, iL 454 
Hephaistos, i. 309 
Hera, i. 309 

Herakles and Alcestis, i. 285 «fg., 
394. 403, 407 ; "• 189, 410 

Herbert, George, ct^. iL 380 

Herberstein, cit. i. loi 

Hercules, see Herakles 

Hermodr, i. 79 

Heme the hunter, iL 361 

Herod, iL 72, 158, 179 

Herodotus, cii, ii. 102, 417 se^., 409, 

Hiawatha, L 283 

Hiisi, Finn demon, i. 88 

Hildur, a Walkyr, L 336 

Hlm^, L 392 

Hino Kawa, L 392 

Hippocrates, L 352 

Hirpini, L 155 

Ho, a tribe, their dirge, i. 53 

Hodr slays Baldur, L 78 

Hofmann, ii. 286 

Hog legends, L 144 ; form of a glut- 
ton, ii. 403 

Hogarth's * Karee Show,* ii. 399 

Hogmanay, i. 90 

Holbein's Ape-devil, ii. 284 

Holy Ghost, i. 74 ; iL 226 se^., 246 

Holy water, ii. 212 

Homer, eii. i. 377 ; iL 402, 420 

Horsel, iL 377 

Horsa, the name, ii. 370 

Horse, legends, i. 126, 127; Vale 
of white, ii. 370 

Horus, i. 19, 148, 149, 184, 185 ; iL 

113, 23s.. 
Hosea, ct^. iL 147 

Hubert, Saint, iL 358 ; his legend, 374 

Huelgoat, Arthur's castle, ii. 359 

Hugh de Pontcbardon, ii. 360 

Hugo, spectre hunter, ii. 358 

Hulda, witch, i. 235 

Hunger, demons of, 41 ttq, ; ii. 417 

Huntington, W., dt, iL 160, 161 

Huorco, ii. 374 

Hur, third person of Triad, iL 235 

Huss, iL 425 

Hydra, L no, 113, 114, 407, 413 

as cuttlefish, i. 310 

Hydrophobia, demon, i. 1 36 

Hyppolite, ii. 102 

Tbus (or Eblis), the name, i. 18; office, 
i. 423 ; his fall, ii. 143 ; his doom, 
ii. 261 ; Sddl's vision of, ii. 271 ; 
decline, ii. 392 ; in Persia, ii. 424 



Iceland, legendg, &c., i. 43, 165, 166 ; 

ii. 218 

horse-flesh in, ii. 372 

Ichi jo, Japanese emperor, ii. 406 
Idolatry, Moslem, i. 29; Jewish, ii. 

56, 148 
Idumeans, ii. 134, 173 
Iduna, i. 79 
Igerna, ii 398 

Ildabaoth, ii. 1 21, 207, 209, 415 
Illusion, Hindu goddess, i. 210 %tq,\ 

of dreams, 237i 245 ; of Luther, 

ii. 196; of witches, ii 326, 345 
Im, sky-god, ii. 109 
Incubi, ii. 403 
Index ExpurgatoriuB, ii. 385 
Indra, i. 26, 97, 134, 151, 170, 204, 

323, 35o» 407. 414 ; ii. ^, 68, 71 
Inges, the cat, ii. 3x3 
Ink-demon, ii. 282 
Innsbruck, Faust at, ii. 338 
Inquisition, ii. 128, 382 
Intellect, a Bishop oQ, ii. 277 
Inundations, i. 108, se^., 257 ; ii. 74 
Invisible foes, i. 338 ; rendering, ii. 

298, 318 
Io*8 journey, i, 38$ 
lona, iL 383 
Ionia, i 385 
Iroquois, i. 188, 189 
Irving, H., as Louis XI., ii. 20 
Isa or Jesus, ii. 236 
Isaiah, Hebrew war-god in, iu 130 
Ischim, ii. 405 
I8W, i. 337, 352 
Ishmael, i. 161 ; ii 83, 134 
Ishtar, i. 49, 77, 78, 83, 106, 109, 

no, 1x9 
Iswara, i. 262 
Isaac, ii 87, 132 

Jack the giant-killer, i, 163 
Jackson, Margaret, witch, ii. 313 
Jacob, i. 239 ; stratagems, ii 132 M'/., 

138 ieq. 
Jacobus de Voragine, ' Golden legend,' 

ii 392 
James, St., tempted, ni 419 
Jami, ii. 363 
Japanese demons, i 44, 123 M^.; Tem- 

ma,i 195; dragons, i 112, 391 te^.; 

ii. 282 
Jarchi, Rabbi, on serpent, ii. 411 
Jason, ii. 409 
Jealousy, devil of, in Japan, ii. 410; 

Darwin on, ii 410; of Eve, ii. 410; 

of Noria, ii. 410 
Jehovah, i. ix, 187, 252, 255, 289, 

408 ; n. 46 *«? . 54 •«?•• 7i» 79 •«?i 

132, 163, 262 
J^phthah's daughter, i. 417 
Jeremiah, ii. 228 
Jeremy of Strasbuif^ tempted by the 

Devil, ii. 366 
Jerome, at. ii. 246 
Jethro, sorcerer, ii 304 
Jewess, a haunted, ii. 193 aeg. 
Jezebel ii. 85 
Jima, i 283 
Jinn, i 107 
Joachim, Abbot, on Antichrist, ii 

Joan of Arc, ii 230 

Job, the Divider, i X49«fg. ; his plagues, 
i 252; crooked serpent, i 322; Behe- 
moth of, i. 409 ; and Harischandra, 
ii. 45 ; on future life, ii. 150 ; salted 
sacrifice, ii. 160; Agnosticism, ii 
155; heresies, ii 157 ; a supposed 
sorcerer, ii. 158, 304 

John the Baptist, i 102 

John XV., Pope, ii. 254 ; John XXIL, 

^ "• 334 

Jonah, i 46, 410 ; ii 442 

Jonathan Ben Uzziel, Targum, i loO; 

». 54 
Joseph's tribe, ii. 247 

Josephus, c%i, ii. 211 

Joshua, ii. 165 

Joskeha, i. 188 

Joss burners, i 73 

Jotunn, i 45 

Judas, i. 424 ; as winter, i. 80, 8x ; 
possession, i. 424; on Satan's kuees, 
ii 144, 253 ; his doom, ii 38 

Judge in ' Last Judgment^' ii. 428 Kq. 

Jugemath in Orissa, ii 363, 364 

Junker Jakele, ii. 355 

Jupiter, i. 402, 407 ; the name, i 17 ; 
and Prometheus, i 376 wq, ; Tonaim, 
ii. 109 ; title assumed bv Nero, ii. 
244 ; Simon Magus worshipped aa, 
ii 245 ; defeats Typhon, i 423 

Justina, Calderon's, ii. 344 

Kachchhaka ferry, Ceylon, ii. 373 
Kagura, Japanese, i. 44 
Kalendar of Shepherds, i. 83 
Kali, i 44 ; ii. 103, 104, 240 
Ealrya, invoked by woodcutteiB in 

Bengal, ii. 364 
Kandy, Ceylon, devil at, ii 408 
Kankato-na, i. 358 uq, 
Kansa, ii. 174 
Kappa, i 112 
'Kehama, Curse of,* Southey'a, ii 362 



Kelpie, i. 112 

Kemung, demon of cold, i. 83 

Kephn, Hunger-demon, i 42 

Ketef, ii. 116 

Ketu, i. 19, 255; ii. 1 16 

Kej, sense of, i. 102 M9. 

Khasm, Persian Asmodeus, ii. 263 

Khamseen, Cain wind, i. 185 

Kheti, ii. 113 

King, Prof., ei%, iL 169, 245 

Kiyotis giant ravishes at, iL 406 

Klabaof, i. iii, 112 

Klinger's * Faust,* ii. 344 9tq, 

Knowledge, Tree of, IL 280, 223 

Kobolds, i. 233 

Kolyadas, rich and poor, i. 90 

Kolski, i. 86 

Konigsgrabe in Sleswig, ii. 357 

Krishna, ii. 174, 236, 363 

Ku'en Lun, fairies, i. 198 

KuYera, god of weisdth, i. 153 

Labottbd Gascons, i. 18 

Lado, i. 81 

Ladon, i. 373, 374 

Lady-bug, i. 317 

Laidley Worm, i. 367 

Lambton Worm, i. 48, 387, 41 1 te^. 

Lameness of demons, i. 98 

Lamia, Lilith of Vulgate, ii. 99 

Laokoon, i. 357 ; Teutonic, L 360 

Lares, t 1 35 ; ii. 2^2 

Last Judgment, M. Angelo's, it 428 

Lausatian custom, i. 81 

Lawrence, St., saves Henry II. from 

devil, ii. 391 
Lawyer, Devil as, ii. 389 
Lazarus and Dives, i. 281 ; ii. 394 
Lei-chau, thunder-district, i. 104 
Leipzig, battle of, ii. 355 ; Annals of, 

ii. 366 
Leo X., ii. 256 
Lemean Hydra, i. 413 
Leto, 1. 81 
Leviathan, i. 46, 108, 109, 408 le^., 

417 ; ii. 100 
Light, creation of, ii. 1 14 
Lightning, i. 96 tt(i, 
Lilith, ii. 92 wj., 103, 1 13, 1 19, 179, 

Limbo, Dante's, ii. 433 
Lion, legends, i. 129 ttq, 
Lithuanian survivals, i. 312 
Livingstone, ct^. i. 98 
Lloyd, W. W., dU iL 402 
Locusts, i. 176, 181 
Logi, L 75 
Loka Phayu, i. 99 


Loki, Eddaio demon, i. 10, ii ; the 
name, L 17; voracity, i. 75 ; doom, 

i. 84. 317 
London Docks, Portuguese sailors at, 

Lord's Supper, ii. 220 
Lorelei, i. 215 

Louis of Thuringia and dove, ii. 228 
Lucifer, L 17 ; his f all, L 20; ii. 1 1 8, 

120 wg., 299, 393 
Lucina, i. 157 « 

Ludlow Church, picture of wicked ale- 
wife, ii. 390 
Lukshmi, goddess of prosperity, L 120 
Lunar theology, L 245 ; influences, 

L 251 
Lupercalia, i. 155 
Lust, i. 220 ; ii. 264 
Luther, ii. cU, 32, 188, 196, 248, 256 

fcg., 265, 306 
Lycanthropy, i. 158 
Lycaon, i 55 
Lycians, cUiuisera, i. 154 
Lyeshy, wood devil, ii. 356 
Lyons Cathedral, picture in, ii. 312 
Lyttleton, Lord, warning of, iL 231 

Maccathiel i. 17 

Maccaria, i. 55 

Madana Yaksenyo, Singhalese female 

lust devils, ii. 405 
Madness, i. 263, 264 
Madonna, black, i. 337 
Madonnas, ii. 91, 92, 236, 395, 404, 

410, 426, 429 
Magdalen College sculptures, ii. 452 
Magdeburg, nymph at, i. 112 
Ma^i and Magician, ii. 174 %tq. ; St. 

James and, ii. 414 
Magog, L 164, 168, 169, 423 
Mahdbbdrata, episode, i. 356 
Mahrt, i. 236 
Mahu, ii. 311 
Maitre Bernard, devil's name, ii. 382 

Parsin, devil's name, ii. 382 

Mai, lust devil in Ceylon, iL 409 

Malleus Maleficorum, ii. 300 

Manes, L 263 

Mania, i. 263 

Manitoos, good and evil, L 167 

Manning, Cardinal, cii, iL 257 

Mans forest, spectre in, ii. 358 

Manu, i. 49 

Manutius, iL 305 

Mara, ii. 158, 179 wg., 183 ttq, \ Scand., 

Marbuel, ii. 299 
Maria, i. 108 

2 G 



Markgraf of Mimia, His death, ii. 427 
Marlowe*s * Faust,' ii. 338 mq'. 
Marriage, ii. 215 ; MepkiBto opposoB, 

ii. 338 
Mars, war-god, i. 275 ; planet, influ- 
ence of, ii. 135 
Marsh demons, i. 203 teg. 
Martel, Charles, in hell, ii. 392 
Martineau, Harriet, c»<. i. 211 ; ii. 

Martin, St.,i. 310; ii 373 
Maruts, i. 6 
Mary, wt Madonna ' 
Master-smiths, L 309 
Mateer, i. di, 44, 300 
Matter, dt. ii. 169 
Maui and Mauike, i. 75 
Mawmet, ii. 250 
MazimilU, ii 246 
May, i 218 ; queen, ii. 378 
Maya, illusion, i. 200, 21 1 wq, 
*■ Meaiiure for Measure,' i 83 
Medea, ii. 131, 409 
Medissval death-bed, picture, ii 394 
Medicinal dragons, i 370 
Medusa, i. 386, 406 
Megara, Luther nursed by, ii 256 
Melite, asp, i. 343 
Melusina, i 367 
Mendes, i loiS 
Mephistopheles, i. 199 ; ii 332 m^., 

299, 340 «jg., 383. 399, 416, 417 
Mercury, planet, i. 19, 60 
Merlin, i 369 ; ii. 397 seg. 
Mermaid, Chinese, i. 216 
Merman, i. 225, 226 
Mesohiaand Meschiane, Persian Adam 

and Eve, ii. 100, xoi 
Messias, ii. 187, 135 
MetaphrastuB, Acta, ii. 341 
Metaphysics, i. 428 ; ii 347 
Meteors, ii. 117 
Mexico, Judas in, i 81 ; serpent 

devils, ii. 437 
Michael, archangel, ii. 142, 375 
Miehelet, cit, ii 219, 233 
Midnight brood, i. 241 
Mikado saint, i. 391 <fg. 
Milkah, ii 156 
Miller, Hugh, Moriel's den, i. 20; 

Meggie, 92 
Milton, his Satan, ii 126, 191, 393 ; 

woman, ii 409 
Mimacs, legends, i 166, 390 
Minerva, ii. 245 
Miracle Plays, ii 128, 191, 295 <eg., 

388, 393, 426 
Mirage, i 185 

Mirror used against devil, ii 448 

Miru, hunger-demon, i 41 seg. 

Miser's gold, ii 413 

Misleaders, i. 213 

Mistletoe, i 5 

Mithras, i 251 

Modo, ii. 311 

Mohammed, a stone deity, i 24, 423 ; 

ii 228, 248, 250 ; Faust as, ii 338 
Mohanee, Singhalese devil, ii 409 
Moira, fate, i. 420 teg. 
Moloch, i. 55, 61, 66, 67 
Monk, Mephisto as, ii 337 
Monkish gluttony, ii. 417 
Monsters, i 340 
Moody, Mr., cU. ii 227 
Moon, i. 244 ; ii 235, 245, 369 
Mormons, i 225 
Morvidus, dragon-slayer, i 368 
Moses, ii 235 
Mountaineers, i 194, 195 
Mountains, holy and unholy, i. 193 

teg. ; demons of, 197, 198 ; ii 245 
Mouse, legends, i. 128, 129 
Mozoomdar, ci£. i 10 
Miiller, Julius, cit. i 15 ; ii. 9 
MuUer, F. Mas, eU, i 15 ; ii 294 
Murder, ii. 425 
Myiagrus deus, i 10 
Myiodes, i 10 
Mysteries, ancienf, ii 368 
Myth, meaning of, i. 28 

K A AMAH, ii 152, 416 

Nachash-beriach, i 344 

Nachzeher, i. 52 

Naglok, Hindu hell, i 151 

Kamaqua superstition, i. 98 

Napier, James, di, ii 217 

Nastrond, i 85 

National characteristics, i 160 

Nature and Art, i 209 ; treacheries 

of, i 212 Mg. ; monsters iu, i. 340 ; 

dualism of, i. 305 ; gods returning 

to, i 317 ; deities, ii. 92, 402 
Nebo, i. no 
Nemesis, ii 168 
Nepaul iconoclast, i. 304 
Nero, ii. 244, 423 
Nibelungen lied, i 86 
Nick, Old, i 1 1 1 «eg. ; of the woods, 

i. 112 
Nickel, derivation of, i. 234 
Nickie Ben, Burns to, ii. 382 
Nida, i. 85 
Nightjager, ii 353I 
Nightmare, i. 236 
Nimrod, ii. 176, 364 



Nin-ki-gal, queen of Hades, i. 77, 287 

Niza, Baltic, i. 112, 113 

Nixy, i. no, 113 

Nizami, eU, ii. 234 

Noah, i 82, 109, 1 10^ 409; ii. 86; 

legends of, ii. 412 uq. 
Noblemen, devil and, iL 390 
Noraita (or Noria), Noah's wife, ii. 

412 »tq, 
Norsemeu, native weapons, i. 45 ; 

ideal, i 394 
North, region of demons, L 83 teq, ; 

of devils, ii. 115 
Ndtre Dame at Paris, devil on, ii. 

252 ; incident at door of, ii. 454 
Nouah, i. 109 

Novgorod, survival at, i. lOl 
Nu, Egyptian serpent goddess, ii. 99 
Nudity, i. 220 ; disapproved by Me- 

phistopheles, ii. 445 
Nyang devil-worship, i. 26 

Oanvks, i. 46 

Object-origins, i. 321 

Obstacles, i. 190 9^q. ; friendly, i. 206 

Odin, i. 10, 56, 97, 162 ; church 

built by, ii. 358, 369 
Oegir, hall of, i. II, 84 
Ogres, i. 51; the word, i. 133 ; ii. 405 
Ohio, college motto in, i. i 
Olaf, Saint, ii. 367 
Omens, i. 90, 1 19, 124, 131, 134, 138; 

ii. 370 
Onion, i. 5 

Ophiomorphus, ii. 208, 402 

Ophion, ii. 402 

Ophia, the word, i. 345 ; the demon, 

ii. 208 
Ophites, ii. 208 
Ophincus, ii. 401 
Opposition and opponent, ii. 131, 

Orain, a universalist, ii. 38^ 
Orcus, i. 306 ; ii. 370 
Ordeals, Dahomey an, i. 3 ; rock, i. 

201 ; witch, ii. 317 
Origen, cit. ii. 220, 305, 325, 383 
Ormuzd, i. 25, 36^ 369; ii. 21, 26 

»«?•, 23S» 263, 264, 452 
OrthroB, guard of Orcus, i. 38, 133, 

Osiris, i. 13, 341, 343 ; 11. 235 

' Othello ' in California, ii. 427 

Otto I. of Altmark, ii. 374 

Oxford, old sculptures at, ii. 452 

Palnatokr or Palnhunter, ii. 357 
Tan, i. 188 

Pandora, ii 89 

Pandukhabayo, prince in Ceylon, ii. 

371 . 
Pautheism, primitive, i. 5 

Paracelsus, ii. 210, 285 

Paradise, i. 376; ii. 77 «cg. 

* Paradise Lost,' ciL i. 83 
Paries, snake called, i. 343 
Parjanya, i. loo 

Parker, Theodore, anecdote of, i. ii 

Passover, i. 64 

Pater, Mr., eit, ii. 267 

Patrii, ii. 290 

Paul the apostle, cit, ii. 213, 241, 

243, &c. 
Paul IV., Pope, orders M. Angelo's 

figures to be draped, ii. 428 
Paulicians, ii. 385 
Pavana, Indian messenger of the gods, 

i. 120 
Peacedale, Rhode I., vampyre, i. 52 
Peacock, i. 27 ; ii. 261 

* Peculiar people ' in London, i. 250 
Pelsall, survival at, i. 46 
Penates, ii. 292 

Pendragon, i. 369 
Pennant, cit. i. 47 
Pentamerone, story in, ii. 374 
Pentecost, i. 64 ; ii. 230, 236, 397 
Penzance Common, demon riders on, 

ii. 361 
Pera, rock ordeal at, i. 201 

Percival, ii. 398 
Perkun, legend of, i. 312 
Perkuhnsteine, thunderbolts called, i. 

Persephone, i. 355 ; ii. 221 
Persian picture of hell, ii. 424 
Perun, i. 100, loi ; ii. 356 
Peruvian mountain god, i. 198 
Peter and Christ, ii. 241 
Pharaoh, i. 119; ii. 182 
Philo, cit. ii. 444 
Phoenix, i. 27 
Picard, John, ii. 225 
Pied piper of Hamelin, i. 129 ; ii. 

355. 367 
Pigeon, i. 74, 75, 219; ii. 227, 230 

Pi 1 pay, ii. 400 

Pindar, dt. i. 18 

Pius IX., evil eye of, ii. 334 

Pixy, i. Ill, 167 

Plato, vision of £r, ii. 422, 423 

Pliny, dt. i. 60 

Plotinus, cit. i. 35 

Pluto, ii. 299 

Pneuma, ii. 207 

Poets on vice and evil, ii. 446 teq. 



Polites, Italian demon, i. 156 

Pontifex, origin of, i. 204 

PontuB, Greeks of, theory of Scj- 
thians, ii. 406 

Pope and pagan, ii. 191 

Pork-eating, ii. 369, 44.2 

Purthcurnow Cove, Tregeagle's la- 
bours, ii. 361 

Poseidon, ii. 235, 402 

Prayer for the Devil, Aquinas*, ii. 384 

Prediger orders, ii. 248 

Pre-Munchausenite world, i. 384, 385 

Pretas (Siam) demons, i. 44 

Pride-of-Life Devil on Kdtre Dame, 
Paris, ii. 252 

Prince of Darkness, i. 240 

of this world, ii. 178 «g., 383 

Prisoilla, ii. 246 

Prodicus, ii. 224 

Prologue to ' Faust,' ii. 399 

Prometheus, i. 59, 376, 377, 385, 
418.421, 422; ii. 380 

Prosecutors, ii. 159 

Puritanism, ii. 274 

Puspa, Singhalese lust deyil, ii. 409 

Pythagorean theory, i 159 

Python, i. 80 

QuBBN Mart's Psalter, pictures from, 

ii. 271, 301 
Quichuas, Viraovcha, god of, i. 107 
Quito, i. 198 

Ra and Mendes, i. 188 

Ra and Set, wars of, in Egypt, i. 182 

Ra, the sun, i. 256 

Rachel, ii. 85 

Radbot, King, ii. 275 

Ragnar, i. 414 

Ragnarok, ii. 240 

Rahab, ii. 416 

Rahu, i. 46, 322; ii. 116 

Rainbow, called serpent, i. 354, 355 

Rakshasis, i. 151, 216 

Rasho gate, Devil of, in Japan, ii. 406 

Rat legends, i. 128, 129, 145 

Ratisbon bridge, legend, i. 205 

Raum, i. 74 

Ravana, Rajah, ii. 22 

Raven, i. 75 ; ii. 299, 321, 333, 368 

Rebekah, ii. 84, 85 

Rechalmus, Abbot, eit, ii. 296 

Recurrence, phenomena of, i 406 ; 

ii. 403 
Reets, ale-wife carried of, ii. 390 
Reichelsheim, ii. 355 
Renaissance, ii. 278 

Rephaim, ii 74 

Rezon, Prince, iL 164 

Rhone legend, i. 117 

Richard I., history, ii. 252 

Riesenaltar and Rieseniiule, ii. 355 

Rig Veda, cxL i. 93, 407, &c. 

Ripheus and Dante, ii. 433 

Riyer Demons, i. 203 ««{. 

Robber Knights, ii. 365 

Robin Hood, ii. 140 

Rocks, i. 201, 202 

Rocky passes, monsters of, i. 201 

Rodenstein, ii. 355 

Rokh, i. 28 

lioland at Roncesvalles, ii. 367 

Rose, Mother, i. 33 ; ii. 375 

Roskoff, eU. ii. 329 xe^. 

Rowan, i. 126 

Rudra, i. 350 

Hymn to, i. 93 «}. 

Rue, ii. 324 

Rum Bah&dur of Nepaul, L 304 
Rupert, Prince, and his dog, ii. 127 
Rusalkas, Nixies of Russia, i. 119 
Ruskin, dt. i. 192, 403, 404 
Russia, mediaval designs in, i. 281 ; 
ii. 144, 214, 222, 228, 253, 254, 413, 

Rutti, Singhalese lust-devil, ii. 409 

Saa-Sbt, ii. 113 
Sabbath, witches, ii 253 
Sabbatarianism, ii. 275 
Sacrifices, i. 55 
Sadi, fM, ii. 236, 271, 423 
Saints — Agatha, L 74 

Andrew, i. 403 

Anthony, ii. 188, 190, 289, 418 

Aquinas, ii. 386 

Augustin, ii. 397 

Augustine, du i. 154 

Benedict^ ii. 268 

Columba, i, 165 

Dunstan, ii. 230 

Francis, ii. 170, 268, 385 

Qalius, i. 148 

Gatien, iL 397 

George, i. 403 «g. 

Gerard, i, 1 14 

Godric, i. 75 ; ii. 419 

Guthlac, ii. 419 

James, ii. 419 

Lawrence, ii. 391 

Margaret, i. 403 

Martin, i. 310 

-• — Michael, i. 403 

Mikados, of the, 1. 391 wg. 

Nicholas^ i. iii, 112 



Sainia— Olaf, ii. 367 

Oraio, ii. 383 

Patrick, i. 389 ; ii. 4 

Petrox, i. 389, 414 

Philip, i. 74 

Sergiu8,i« 147 

Theophilus, ii. 329 

Vinceut, ii. 217 

Walpurga, iL 376 

Wolf rani, ii. 275, 307 

Saint Vitus' dance, i. 251 
Saia, temple of Isis at, i. 337 
Sakya Muni, ii. 179 m^., 184 
Salisbury Plain, legend of, i. 370 
Salt, i. 65 ; iu 150, 217, 297 
Salzburg, Bishop of, ii. 417 
Samael, ii. 114, 130, 134, 135, 142, 

146, 150, 262, 361 
Samis, ii. 235 

Sand, George, story by, L 207 
Sangr^l, ii. 398 
San-nu Hut-uz, i. 321 
SantaclauB, i. iii, 112 
Sara, ii. 81 s^^., 87, 402 
Saranyu, i. 8, 20 ; ii. 283 
Satan, i. 423, 424; ii. I2I, I2q, 128, 

I43» 159, 164 «f/., 185, 186, 193, 

241, 242, 246, 299, 395 
Satan, Adam's contract with, ii. 


aureoled, i. 19 

Celsus on, ii. 40 1 

Christ's idea of, ii. 241 

doom, iL 380, 381 

Heine's portrait of, ii. 287 

Jews' idea of, ii. 163 

Job and, i. 255 

Milton's, ii. 126 ^ 

Mohammed and, i. 18 

moon-dcTourer, i. 48 

outwitted, ii. 395, 3 97 

Sadi's, 11.271 

supposed portrait of, ii. 168 

Saturn, i. 19, 55, 59, 253, 254 

Satyrs, i. 19 ; ii. 289 

Sauer, the dog, i. 137 

Sauromats of Herodotus, ii. 102 

Savages, axioms among, i. 396 

Scandra, ii. 23 

Scapegoat, ii. 131, 169, 187 

Scarabfleus, i. 5 

Scelestat, De, Devil's name, ii. 382 

Scheibel, eil, ii. 332 

Schem-hammphorasch, ii. 304 

Schnellert, wild jager at, ii. 355 

Schwarz, ii. 333 

Science not dualistic, i. 12 

Scott, Michael, legends of, 1. 118 

Scylla and Charybdis, i. 201, 202, 

407 ; of Thuringia, i. 202 
Scythians, demonic origin of, i 161 ; 

ii. 410 
Sea, ii. 117 

dragons, i. 109 

phantoms, i. 227 

Seals, ii. 169, 335 

Sealskin maidens, i. 219 

Seance in ' Faust,' i. 309 

Seasons, battle of the, i. 89 

Second-sight, i. 163, 241, 242 

Seir, mountains of, ii. 118 

Selbome, White's Histoiy of, eU, i. 

Sephiroth, ii. 31, 254 
Scrapes, i. 338 ; ii. 290 
Seraphim, i. 322, 323, 339 
Serbian demon, i. 206 
Serpent, i 325 stj., 418 ; ii. 167 

Abyssinian worship, i. 343 

antidote for bite of, in India, i. 

349 «fJ- 
of the Ark, ii. 238 

brazen, ii, 134 

characteristics of, i. 321 

Charlemagne and, ii. 396 

earliest, i. 322 

egg of, i. 325, 327 

Greek word for, derivation, i. 


healing art emblem, i. 351, 352 

India, i, 348 

legends, i. 147, 148 

meaning, i. 341 

Melite, i. 343 

Persian, i. 25 

rainbow called, i. 354, 355 

romance, i. 359 

8pyi i. 345 

theories of, i. 353 %tq, 

transformations, i. 339 

treading on, i. 346 

Vishnu's, i. 24 

worship of, i. 13, 328 

Senretus, ii. 420 

Set and Ra, wars of, in Egypt, i. 182 

Set» Seth, i. 182 m^., 256 ; ii. 87, 208, 

209, 223, 235, 279 
Setnau, tale of, Egyptian, i. 413 
Seven spirits, ii. 229 
Sex in heaven, ii. 386 
Shadows, i. 231 je^. 
Shakers, ii. 405 

Sheikh's ride in Egypt, i. 180, 181 
Sheitan in Constantinople, i. 48 
Shekinah, ii. 54, 55 



Shelley, il 281 

Shemmen-Nessem and Khamseen, i. 

Shi'icbs, men of peace in Scotland, i. 

229, 230 
Shipwrights* play, ii. 414 
Shiribadatt, King, legend of^ i. 401 
Shuden dozi, Japanese demon, i. 158 ; 

legend of, ii 406, 407 
Shylock, il 138 

Siegfried, poem of, e\l, i. 370, 371 
Simson, Kev. M., c»<. ii. 215 
Simon Magus, ii. 237, 245, 255 
Simoom, ii. 234 
Sin, L 23s 
Sindri, L 85 
Singhalese demonology, L 355 

Rakshasis, i. 216 

Sinistrari, oit. ii. 306 ; his book on 

Demonialite, 384, 385 
Siren, Japanese, i. 222, 223 
Sinus, ii. 280 
Siva, i. 17, 96, 97, 150, 151 ; ii. 23, 

228, 235, 369 
Skratti, Old Scratch, i. 86 
Slanderers, ii. 160 
Sleep, i. 234, 235 
Sleepers, mythical, ii. 359 ; Sleeping 

Beauty, ii. 375 
Sleipnir, Odin's horse, ii. 371 
Sleswig, King Abel at, it 357 
Slippers, yellow, of witches, i. 215 
Smith, the master, i. 309 
Snakes, children and, i. 364, 365 

milk and, i. 365 

Paries, i. 343 

Paradise and the, i. 376 

• Saint Patrick and the, i. 389 

Socinus, ii. 340 

Sockbum worm, L 388 

Socrates, ii. 427 

Solomon, i. 120, 186, 187 ; ii. 163, 164, 

223, 278, 304, 415 
Solstice, i. 65 

Somerville worm, legend, i. 389 
Sophia, ii. 207 
Sophia Achemoth, ii. 207 
Soracte, i. 155 
Soranus, i. 155 
Sorcery, i. 307 ; ii. 300, 334 
Sosioob, prophet, ii. 29 
Sosipolis, i. 157, 339 
Souter Fell, Cumberland, spectres, 

242 uq, 
Spagnoletto, i. 191 
Spanish negro madonna, i. 337 
Spectres, mountain, i. 242 %tq. 
Spells, ii. 291, 319 

Spencer, Herbert, eii, ii. 219 
Sphinx, i. 174, 173, 180, 181 
Spiess publishes * Faust ' legend, ii. 

Spinello of Areszo, ii. 271 

Spinosa, dl, ii. 148 ; diabolised, ii. 349, 

425 ; on the devil, ii. 439 
Spiritualism, i. 52 ; ii. 307, 331 
Sraosha, ii. 263, 264 
Strauss, ctt. ii. 186 
Straw Mujik of Russia, i. 8x 
Streatham Church, Franklin at, i. 

Steubel and Wirbel in the Danube, i. 

115, 116 
Succubss, ii. 403 
Su Fuh, necromancer, i. 167 
Suicide, i. 229 

Sunken cities and treasures, i. 228 
SuU'Spots and famine, i. 171 ttq. 
Sun-worship, i. 173 
Svaldifari, ii. 371 
Svedgir, i. 162, 256 
Sviatevit, i. 97 
Swamy, Sir M. C, ii. 35 uq. 
Swan legends, L 1 13, 119, 212,214 mj., 

Swedenborg, ctt. i. 211 ; his visions, 

ii. 427 ttq. \ Emerson on, ii. 435 ; 

hell of, ii. 436 
Sweden, witchcraft in, L 3x7 
Syrians, ii. 148 


Tacitus, e\i. ii. 370 
Tai-shan mountain, i. 197 
Talmage, Rev. Dr., ctt. ii. 2i6 
Tannhauser, i. 223 ; ii. 320 
Tannin in Old Testament, i. 322 
Taous, peacock symbol, i. 27 
Targum, cit. i. 100 ; ii. 54, 247 
Tartar superstition, i. 104 
Tartini, his Devil's sonata, ii. 273 
Tchernibog, i. 154 ; ii. 253 
Ted worth ghost, ii. 309 
Temptation, ii. 178 uq, 
Tenjo, mountain demon of Japan, i. 

195 uq. 
Tennyson, a<. ii. 102 
Tenth brings Abraham before Nim- 

rod, ii. 365 
Teraphim, i. 37 ; ii. 290 
Termagol, g^nt, i. 164 
TertuUian, dt, i. 82 ; ii. 244, 341 
Tetzel and Luther, ii. 32 
Teufelsee, demon, L 221, 222 
Thebes, picture, ii. 403 
Theophilue, St., ii. 395 
Thespesius visits Hades, ii. 423 



Thibet, hall io, i. 83 
Thokk, i. 78, 232 
Thor, i. 59, 100, 232, 317 
Thoth, ii 303 
Thugs, i 151 
Thummim, i. 54 
Thunder, duke, i. 104 

legends, i. lOO ; bolts, i. loi 

Thurgau custom, L 316 

Thuringian Scylla, L 202 

Tiamat, ii. 106, no 

Tidal femons, L 118, 119 

Titans, i. 6, 74 ; it. 401 

Tituba, Salem witch, ii. 314 

Titus on demons, ii. 2II 

Tiw, i. 16 

Tobit, ii. 265, 325 

Tophet, i. 62 ; il 235 

Torches, feast of, i. 91, 395 uq. 

Torrents, demons of, i. 203 ««$. 

ToU, L 204 

Tours, 'Mystery at/ ii 128, 191, 391 

Tourtak, god of Tigris, i. 108 

Trajan and Dante, ii. 433 

IVansformations, i. 217 

Transmigration, i. 125} '^^ 

Travancore, demons of, i. 44 ; Holy 

Tree, i. 299 Mg. 
Treacheries, natural, i. 212 ^g. 
Treasures, sunken, i. 228 
Tregeagle's ghost, ii. 36 1 
Triad, i. 24 ; iL 235 
Trinity, i. 24; il 235 
Tritas, ii. 369 
Tsar Moiskoi, i. 119, 219 
Tsui-knap, i. 98 
Tsuma, hero, ii 406 
Tubingen students imprisoned, ii. 337 
Tumbariungona marsh, Ceylon, ii. 

Turner, J. M. W., dragons, i. 323 

Turanian metallurgists, i. 353 

Twashtri, i. 75, 170 

• Twelfth Night, M. 314 

Tyler, £. B., on limping deities, i. 
18 ; mixed deities, i. 24 ; Izedis, i. 
27 ; funeral customs, i. 53 ; Judas- 
burning in Mexico, L 80, 81 

Typho, i. 251 

Typhon, i. 54; Horus and, L 184, 185, 
407, 423 ; ii. 235 


Ukko, i. 102 
Undine, i. ill 
Unholdenhof, i. 199 
Universalism, Grain's, ii. 382 ; Paul's, 
ii 383 ; SiniBtrari's, ii. 383 «f g. 

Unmercifulness, ii 254 

Unrest, spirit of, ii. 118, 137,400 

Urim and Thummim, ii. 54 

Urael, ii. 379 

Urselberg, ii. 379 

Ursula, ii 379 

Uru, Moon-god, il. 106 

Uther Pendragon, i 369 ; ii 398 

0*2, ii 149 

Vala, ii 371 

Valhalla, i 229 ; ii. 321, 369 
Valkyrs or Walkyrs, ii. loi, 318 
Vampyres, i 49, 51, 52, 244, 245 
Vanland, story of, i. 235 ; ii. 371 
Vanalandi, i 162 
Varuna, i 4, 356 

hymn to, i 300 

Vasishtha, ii. 32 teg. 
Vasud^ya, ii 175 
Vata, i. 99 

Vatican, Faust and Mephisto there, ii. 
338, 341 ; M. Angelo, ii. 188, 427 
Vauvert diable, ii. 201 
Vayu's wind chariot, i 99, 100 
Vedic hymn, i 99 
Veils, i 337 wg. 
Vena, ii 240 

Venerable Bede, ct^. ii. 425 
Veneur, Le Grand, Fontainbleau, ii. 

Venus, Ht Aphrodite 
Venusberg, i. 223 ; ii 377 
Vervain, ii. 324 
Vespasian, ii. 244 
Viddtu, ii 264 
Vii, i 96 
Vikram, i 49 
Vilz, devil at, i. 205 
Vindicatores, ii. 291 
Viracvcha, god of Quichuas, i 107 
Virginia, incident in, i. 192, 193 
Virgin, Antichrist bom of, ii 257 ; 

Merlin bom of, \\.y^{9tt Madonna); 

Virgin and viper, ii 410 
Virginity, ii 231 

Virgins of the Parable, fatal, ii. 427 
Vishnu, i 144, 161, 418 ; ii 235, 362, 

Vishtasp, narcotic, ii. 431 

Visv&mitra, ii 23, 32 ttq. 

Vivien beguiles Merlin, ii 398 

Vladimir, ii. 356 

Voland, ii. 379 

Volmer's hunt, ii 376 

Voltaire, his deathbed, i 280; dia- 

bolised, ii 349, 425; dislike to 

raven, ii 367 



Vortigern, i. 369, 370; ii. 398 
Vritra, i. 36, 151, 170, 171,322, 355. 

356, 413 
Vulcan, i. 170, 171 
-; — temple to, on Etna, i. 156 
Vulgate, ci^. i. 19 

Waonbb, myths used by, i. S6 
Waldemar's hunt, ii. 276, 277 
Walpurga, St, ii. 378 
Walpurgis night, i. 190, 234 
Wandjager, ii. 353 
Wansbeck river, legend, i. 1 18 
Wasserkelch church, ii. 396 
Watchnight, i. 90 
Water spirits, i. 113 sej., 120 
Waterspouts, i. 107 
Wauljager, ii. 353 
Wayland, Vcdic Vala, L 19 
Wear, river, legend, i. 118 
Werewolves, i. 158, 303, 314, 315; 

girdle, ii. 318 
Wesley, his watchnight, L 190 ; on 

Mohammed, ii. 250 ; and the Cock 

Lane ghost, ii. 309 
Wesleyans and theatres, ii. 273 
Wessamonny, Singhalese demon, i 

97, 355 , , 

Westminster Abbey, Hell denounced 

in, ii. 239 
Whirlwinds, i. 105 
White Lady, ii. 361, 377 se^. 
Wild Huntsman, L 139 ; ii. 353 uq* 
Williams, Prof. M., c%i. L 50 
Will-o'-wisp, L 212 f«9., 225 
Wilten, monk at, i. 200 
W^ind demons, i. 88, 89 ; bride, L 106 
Windeschmaun, dt, i. 283 
Wine devil, ii. 392, 415 aeg. 
Winter demons, i. 77 mj. 
Wirtel, Danube, L I15 
Witches, yellow slippers, i. 215 ; ii. 

7&%ttq,\ Salem,ii.3i4; trial, iL 315; 

confessions, ii. 218 xeg.; testing, ii. 

317 ; in Virginia, ii 326 ; biblicid, ii. 

327; execution, ii. 327 wg., 386 
Wittenbeiig forest and Faust, ii. 337 
Wodan, i. 99, 100, 310, 313 ; ii. 353 
Wodejiiger, ii. 353 
Wolf legends, i. 140, 1 44, 1 54, 318 ; 

glen, ii. 361 

Women, protected, i. 319 uq,\ first in 
India, iL75; Persia, ii. 77; diabolised, 
ii. 85 ttq. ; rib-theory of, ii. 103; as 
tempter, ii. 191 m^.; why witches 
were chiefly women, ii. 195; Malleus 
Maleficorum on, ii. 300 ; Euripides 
and Milton concerning, ii. 409 

World, Qoethe's * Faust' on the, ii.352 

Worms, i. 332, 336 ; City of, i. 366 ; 
Laidley, L 367, 368 ; Lambton, i. 
387, 411 M9. ; Sockbum, L 388; 
Somerville, i. 389; of Time, i 342; 
poetic, ii. 393 

Wrath, Day of, Mary in, ii. 429 

Wuchang, temple of horrors, ii. 424 

Wustanges Heer, ii. 353 

Wuttke, Dr.,c»«.i.i6o; ii. 307,353,374 

Takkob, Yakshas, i. 151 407. 

Yama, King of Death, i. 6 

Year, old and new, i. 89, 90 

Yellow slippers of witches, L 215 

Yemma, king of Hades, Jap., i. 195 

Yeous, the giant^ i. 207 seg. 

Yezedis, i. 27 

Yimi, i. 283 

Ynglinga Saga, i. 162; ii 371 

Yorimitaa, Japanese hero, ii. 406 Mtq, 

York Cathedral, i 32 

Yule-tide, i. 23 

Yii Shiit, Chinese rain-god, i 105 

Zafarana, Sicilian story, ii. 369 
Zamhor, i. 26 
Zamiel, ii 300, 361 
Zerffi, Dr., cii, ii. 286 
Zeru&ne-Akrane, ii. 235 
Zeus, i. 402 ; ii 235 

etymology, i 17 

Fates of, i. 420 wtq. 

Fiy-god, i 10 

jealous, i 59 

Lightning- wielder, i 97 

in * Iliad,* ii 402 

Zinsendorf, i. 347 

Zohak, i. 359 ; ii. 176, 234, 363, 364 

Zophar, ii 152, 154 

Zoroaster, i 60, 154; ii 24, 172, 184, 

Zum Loch, Zurich, Charlemagne at, 

ii- 395 




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